Predictions for 2024 from our Managing Director, Christian Knaebel
It is that time of the year, when we all write, read or dismiss the predictions of what awaits us the next 12 month. I am part of that circus show and let me break it to you the hard way as we start: this year ain’t going to be a pretty horse & pony show. If you thought 2023 was tough on you and were hoping for respite now, you might be disappointed.
2024 will be the year when we officially pronounce old TV dead.
So instead of doing a kind of forecast for 2024, I will outlined what eventually killed old TV; what were the nail in its coffin.
The New King in Town: its all about Data.
The new king has made his ascent via Connected TV. Gone are the days of mindlessly flipping through channels on your old-school television. The rise of connected TVs and streaming services has revolutionized the way we consume media. But it’s not just about binge-watching your favorite shows anymore; it’s about data. Connected TVs enable better targeting and data collection compared to their outdated counterparts. They know what you like, what you watch, and even what you buy online.
Streaming services, on the other hand, are engaged in an all-out battle for subscribers. And what’s their secret weapon? Viewer data. They collect every click, every pause, and every rewind, turning it into valuable insights that can be monetized. It’s a data gold rush, and these streaming giants are mining it with gusto. They know your preferences better than you know yourself.
TV and its content has become a conduit only to collect data. What we express via media is solely used as the honeypot to collect our data.
The Future is Shopatainment!
Connected TVs have turned former couch potatoes into fully wired – ok wireless – consumers ready for instant digital gratification! Ecommerce titans like Amazon and Walmart have eagerly dived headfirst into this sea change by launching entire retail media networks around their streaming ad inventory. In the battle for the future of TV, fortune now favors strategic thinkers who see television programming not as the objective but as the Trojan Horse to deliver what consumers really want – frictionless opportunities to shop from home while being entertained!
Traditional media giants must seriously ask themselves with streaming subs declining quarter over quarter – are they really equipped to compete with the likes of an Amazon or Target when it comes to inventorying purchase intent data? Perhaps not alone. But through partnerships and acquisitions that infuse retail DNA directly into legacy media brands, they can avoid fast following into irrelevance. Discovery, NBC, Disney and more are all making big moves in this direction pairing their premium video content offering with data analytics engines and ecommerce experience. Early movers willing to reimagine their business models around shopatainment could find themselves better off than the sleepy giants who dismiss data-enhanced television watchers as a passing fad.
One good example of how you can use content for an in-video shopping experience is AiBUY.io .
AI Poised to Disrupt the Industry
Of course, we would be remiss not to mention likely the most disruptive force that does start to impact entertainment, television and media – AI. The same artificial intelligence advancements driving connected TV features are already automating content production. Machine learning algorithms now churn out everything from sports highlight reels to personalized newscasts and weather reports. As media creation and distribution becomes further automated, companies leveraging AI stand to benefit from significantly lower costs to produce more content than ever tailored to narrow audience niches.
At the same time, AI and automation will supercharge how viewer data gets leveraged across sales funnels. Predictive analytics will pair purchase intent signals with recommendation engines pushing ultra-targeted ads. Virtual shopping assistants will respond in real-time to spoken cues like “I’ll buy those sneakers Jamie on Show X is wearing!” Process automation will seamlessly checkout purchasers almost before the desire solidifies. AI not only provides the foundation enabling enhanced TV sales experiences, but likely captures an increasing share of revenue as the invisible hand guiding transactions.
R.I.P. Moguldom – Long Live Content Ecosystems
With these shifts a lot of new questions arise; and old answers will not work. You see talks about walled garden bundles and new mega-mergers spreading like mushrooms. Yet, for me it is another kind of fungus: it is the mildew of moguldom. It’s time to bid farewell to the moguls of yesteryear. As consumers flock to streaming platforms, using innovative content delivery channels and new consumer experiences, the pressure is mounting on traditional broadcasters. Viewership and ad dollars are slipping through their fingers like sand dunes in a desert storm. You need new answer.
Embracing this change, rather than clinging to nostalgia, is the key to survival. It’s time to stop viewing media enterprises as moguldoms and start seeing them as platforms that nurture creativity and bring awe-inspiring content to audiences. Like deadwood gives fertile ground for all kinds of new life and creates new microcoms, so must media and TV enterprises redefine themselves as a platform that nurtures content; creating an ecosystem for creators and audiences alike; closely collaborating with tech; even redefining themselves as a media tech business.
A forest is a good example of how this new TV business ecosystem should look like: rather more of an open nature reserve instead of the old school walled garden approach. An ecosystem that cooperates with each other and within its system, that provides support, growth and codependency on equal terms. Old TV businesses can be the mold with their reach, experience, infrastructure and clout to grow new forests of creativity and revenue.
New Thinking, New Collaboration, New Transparency
Let’s take a moment for full transparency – despite TV and streaming still delivering some quality entertainment and informational value, the roots were always seeded around slyly selling us something. Back to the days when the first TV shows were launched by NBC almost 100 years ago, they had one big objective: to sell us TV sets. Only now has the veil lifted fully with streaming data exposing the full scope of behavioral tracking and intentional ad targeting.
Perhaps though the trust between media providers and consumers need not be broken forever. As we now pivot business models to focus more directly on turning living rooms into personalized shopping experiences, we would do well to respect viewer privacy. Data collection policies and ads must enhance rather than detract from core entertainment. With transparency around how viewer data gets used and some restraint around targeting saturation, media brands can avoid completely eroding audience goodwill in this new paradigm. Savvy executives will resist short-term profit maximization for long-lasting, transparent relationships with consumers who feel empowered rather than exploited by smart TV advancements.
This approach and the new ecosystem will require a new leadership style: Collaboration is the new management mantra. It must permeate all areas of our work in TV and media. Inside our own organization as well as across the industry and beyond. You must be willing to work with brands, with retail partners, with the folks from the ever so ephemeral creators economy. You must give your own people more power and you need to be willing to have them take the lead. You must pay all in your ecosystem a fairer share. That is the key that we should not forget: we are here to make money. The profit can be made, and will be made. It must however be shared more equally within the ecosystem to nurture it, to ensure its survival.
As death looms over TV, the time for playing it safe is over. Embrace risk, and learn to live with uncertainty.
The media landscape is changing at warp speed, and those who resist the tides of transformation will watch their relevance fade away like outdated video tapes.
Let this be an invitation to reinvent yourselves and your organizations. Embrace the unknown with open arms and be the trailblazers who shape the future of media.
magine leading your media business into a new era of growth and innovation. Picture harnessing seismic industry shifts, not being disrupted by them, as you confidently expand into new profit centers. Envision launching breakthrough products and services that captivate audiences, opening new revenue streams.
With Global Media Consult’s seasoned experts and unparalleled industry insights by your side, this aspirational future is within your grasp. We supply the foresight to stay ahead of market transformations.
Give me a call to explore how we can revive your TV business and make it future-proof.