We’ve started to see it already but these trends are set to become more evident in the year ahead. Cate Owen tells us what to look for.
2012 is going to be an interesting year for new media and technology in New Zealand. Online media consumption, in particular video, has had strong growth in 2011, as has the number of Kiwi businesses using social media platforms. Meanwhile advertising agencies digital spend continues to climb.
What does this mean for 2012? I’ve picked four trends I think we’ll see throughout this year.
The rise and rise of On Demand.
New Zealanders’ use of on demand media shows incredible growth, and the advertising dollars are there to support many of the services currently offered. However the cost, speed, data caps and in some cases availability of internet across the country can be prohibitive to growth.
There seems to be a real divide between those on high-speed with large caps who want HD quality video, and those who struggle to use the service because their data speed is just too slow – or because they are concerned over the cost of data.
The digitisation of television in New Zealand will also provide some interesting new trends in media consumption. Forcing the entire nation onto digital platforms means the industry is ripe for new technology and new players to enter the market, as we have already seen with the TVNZ/Sky initiative Igloo.
Nielsen’s changes to TV ratings and panelled digital tracking will also shake up the way much of the industry measures success in 2012.
Mobile will become more important than ever.
“Facebook will reach a milestone with more than half its users accessing it from mobile devices, and that will be a major driver of interest in mobile social media,” says David Berkowitz of 360i.
Smartphone uptake in New Zealand is still low but I think we’ll see new platforms developed for second screening, mobile integration, mobile as a sales platform, and mobile vouchering – all of which will hopefully encourage more people to upgrade.
There are some interesting new developments going to market in terms of apps that listen to ads played on traditional media and serve data directly into the palm of the smartphone owner. Newly launched TV-to-mobile content delivery system Pluk is a prime example of this.
We’re also potentially going to see lots of geo-marketing as people get deals tailored for them and delivered to their mobile, for example, as they wander around a mall.
Integrated marketing will hit new peaks, and it’s going to get noisy out there.
Some advertisers and media publishers will get smarter about how they are integrating social into marketing, and existing online properties.
But – and it is a big but – we run the risk of too many messages hitting a platform where advertising messages are received with a certain level of angst. Will this lead to over-saturation and mass unfollowing or unliking? Time will tell.
Steve Rubel of Edelman has said that 2012 is the year of integration.
“Social media in a vacuum is not enough. It needs to be tightly integrated with traditional PR, advertising and CRM. The noise in social will reach such a breaking point that integration will be required to stand out,” he said.
To get ahead, brands will need to look at smart cross-platform marketing – not just a social media push, and not just a broadcast push.
There may also be a focus on relevance – only people who have expressed an interest in a particular field will receive marking about that field. Minimising wastage, and therefore saving advertising dollars, will become more and more important.
Laws will be changed to reflect the new media environment
The Law Commission have released News Media on New Media, which is now open to submissions. This marks the start of a very interesting time in the so-called “wild west” of online media, in particular for bloggers who have a journalistic slant, or who see themselves as news providers.
The SOPA situation is also one to watch and with Wikipedia and other big internet players blacking out for a day, it only stands to get more interesting from here.
I’m also interested to see if the election law that gave grief last year will be changed to reflect how we are actually using social media. It lends itself to that tricky ‘who is an influencer’ discussion that gathered no answers during the 2011’s election.
So as I said, 2012 is going to be an interesting year for new media and technology. There’s plenty more we could discuss. This is by no means an exhaustive list and I’d be keen to hear all of your thoughts as well.