What next for the media industry? 2016 revealed

15 Dec 2015 
What next for the media industry? 2016 revealed

In the first of Mediatel's two prediction specials, Sky Media, Outsmart, DataXu, ZenithOptimedia, Mindshare and AdRoll reflect on the year gone by - and offer their thoughts on what 2016 will have in store. Read the second part here.

John Litster

John Litster, managing director, Sky Media

Convergence (series 5, ep 16) and Divergence (series 1, ep 1)

The convergence of TV and online is an old story with a new twist. Just like the eagerly anticipated Year of Mobile which never did arrive - while The Decade of Mobile cruises by - the extent of convergence between the two big-hitting media is hard to define precisely, but it is going to have a big impact in 2016.

What is convergence? Using your TV for other AV, watching on demand, catching up on your tablet, streaming live TV on your mobile, subscribing to ad hoc pay TV? Yes to all the above and more.

With television increasingly offering the best of both TV and digital worlds, advertisers are striving for cross-platform integration, impact and effectiveness. The scale, quality and accessibility of data we now have means that understanding multiscreen behaviour and creating truly integrated campaigns is more achievable than ever.

TV advertising's product range has expanded exponentially of late, and we will witness many more advertisers pioneering in these frontier areas. The risks are low and the opportunities are many, so there will be a flurry of 'media firsts' as advertisers emerge smiling from their new experiences with dynamically served ads in On Demand, Sky AdVance, Sky AdSmart and a host of other new offerings beyond - including, dare I say, some of these traded programmatically.

TV in its converged form is relevant to more brands than ever. I can see agencies starting to become less inhibited about what they attempt on TV, with less fear of failure and equally a greater willingness to apply new thinking to new challenges.

We are going to witness a growing divergence in fact, between those who stick to last year's plan (so the one from 1994 in effect then) and those who say, we're smart enough to learn loads from an innovative approach: let's just try it.

Katie Ingram

Katie Ingram, strategy and planning director, Outsmart

To make a prediction for out of home in 2016 and offer technology as the key trend may sound to many as if it is whispered from the lips of the Ghost of Christmas Past. This chapter will see technology embedded in developments that will enhance the ability of OOH to solve client problems.

The continued investment across the medium in new high quality sites, screens and systems will move on apace with 2016 being the year that national, multi format, digital campaigns will be truly possible. This will allow a continuation of the creativity, relevance and impact of so many wonderful London centric campaigns to be delivered at greater scale.

However, technology runs much deeper than just digital out of home, for example fusing Route with mobile network data will allow classic formats to be planned in even more sophisticated ways by existing spenders and attract new brands to the medium.

The ability to overlay this richer audience data with real time availability will allow us to take further steps into the realms of automated trading, delivering greater efficiencies for advertisers. It will be vital to develop a co-ordinated industry approach for this to be a worthwhile investment.

Consumer behaviour is constantly evolving in line with the technology in the palm of their hands, presenting new challenges for marketers. As we look into 2016 it is apparent that in contrast to some channels OOH will see no decline in audience or increase in ad avoidance.

With this in mind Outsmart will be sharing the results of our study into how OOH primes brand activity on connected devices, adding another dimension to technology and OOH working in tandem to create valuable consumer actions

With tech driving change in both broadcast and innovation I predict another healthy awards season for OOH.

Chris Le May

Chris Le May, SVP & MD Europe and emerging markets, DataXu

Looking forward into 2016, programmatic TV is set to become one of the biggest talking points of the year in the marketing industry. It essentially promises the automation of ad buying on a platform, allowing a data-driven approach to TV campaign planning. The automation part will ensure that brands can continuously optimise their TV ad buy, driving high engagement with viewers who have real intent and interest in their product - which will ultimately boost ROI.

This fast development is being shaped by innovative leaders on both sides: buy side, with forward-looking advertisers and their agencies; and sell side, with multichannel video programming distributors and content aggregators, who are leveraging viewability data that is fed back for advertisers.

Addressable and connected TV platforms are set to create a lasting impact in targeting and measurement of results to ensure that by the time we reach 2017, television advertising will be nothing like 2015.

However, with the influx of new data that programmatic TV will offer brands and agencies, a renewed focus on transparency on all sides is simply not negotiable. Brands must feel empowered to demand transparency on pricing, practice and performance, while agencies and their tech partners need to be positive and proactive in adopting such an approach.

James and Pedro

James Hudson, head of digital UK, and Pedro Mona, head of digital technology, ZenithOptimedia

There are a few things that will shape the digital landscape in 2016. The most impactful will probably be the rise of the machines - not an Arnie movie but the growth of machine learning algorithms making media optimisation decisions. Why is this important?

Well, personalisation will take a central role in media - cross device is going to go from a look back to an opportunity to curate the journeys. We will be talking more and more about being relevant to users and see the fading of the cookie and an increased need to have dynamic messages triggered by user status, context and physical location.

All of these developments will produce vast quantities of data that will need to be analysed, interpreted and deployed as actions in an almost real-time fashion to be able to provide the utopia that is true one-to-one marketing.

What does this mean for clients? Well, before we all get excited about all having control rooms with hundreds of screens being controlled by complex machine learning algorithms, we need to remember where all of this data will come from. These algorithms will only be as good as the data to that goes into them. For this reason it is imperative that we get back to making sure we have the foundations right.

Marius Smyth

Marius Smyth, managing director EMEA, AdRoll

Contextual commerce will finally take off in 2016. It is the next step in how consumers shop for new products and we're now starting to see the development of better tools that will allow it happen. Facebook, for example, is coming out with new ways to get transactional experiences within the News Feed, making in-app shopping a more integrated and seamless user experience.

Matching the right platform with the right products to the right people is still the big challenge, and this is where predictive algorithms will come in as the bridge to connect consumers to contextual shopping.

Programmatic video will bring mobile shopping to TV: Advertisers are starting to find new ways to take advantage of the two-way flow of information between television screens and connected devices. By using this information, advertisers are able to deliver more tailored, customised ad experiences that speak to the programs consumers are watching, as well as what they're browsing on desktop and mobile devices.

By the end of the year, you'll be able to watch your favourite show, and within the same screen, purchase the outfit your favourite character is wearing.

James and Pedro

Jeremy Pounder, futures director, Mindshare UK

Looking forward into 2016 we can expect to see many of the debates of 2015 really coming to a head. The question of whether bloated adtech and a substandard digital advertising experience is driving people to adblocking will loom ever larger.

Simultaneously, as publishers become increasingly reliant on Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon - particularly Facebook distribution to beat the blockers - attention will be re-focused again on branded content as a possible solution to the digital monetisation conundrum.

The problem is that for many brands, things have got out of control, with teams working in silos and producing unstructured content with very little coordinating thought, a trend we call 'content overload'.

For content that can truly be considered rocket fuel for the web, rather than just more landfill, brands will need to channel their energies in a much more coordinated way, basing their thinking around what we, as users, actually want from them.

In 2016 we expect to see brands take much more of an editorial based approach, becoming broadcaster brands, to cope with the sheer volume of content they now produce.

A second key trend that we see emerging in 2016 is what we're calling 'everyday connects' and describes the Internet of Things (IoT) coming to one of the most traditional brand touchpoints - packaging.

Individual everyday packaged goods products will start to integrate sensors and tags which connect them to the web. This then allows them to become a scalable digital touchpoint delivering additional value to the consumer through small, incremental services. Reordering, 'how to' demonstrations, usage notifications and branded content all become possible as packaging starts to become intelligent.

Looking beyond 2016 the opportunity will eventually arise for brands to capture data on how their products are being used in real time and integrate that understanding into their communications across all digital touchpoints. Hopefully, we'll be doing that with enough sensitivity to stop the blockers proliferating into new territory.

Read part two here.

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