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What next for the media industry? 2015 revealed

What next for the media industry? 2015 revealed

As the year draws to a close, Newsline has gathered a range of media experts from different disciplines to round off 2014 and have a look at what 2015 has in store.From the best films to the rise (and rise) of programmatic - and much in between - hear from Xaxis, Mindshare, dunnhumby, Newscred, Digital Cinema Media, Primesight and Carat as they offer their predictions for the year ahead.

Content marketing
Kayvan Salmanpour, vice president, Newscred

If 2014 was the year of content marketing for brands, 2015 will be the year that agencies solidify their place within this growing industry. While many agencies have already been navigating the content marketing landscape, they'll have to step up quickly next year by putting together the right teams, and rethinking the creative process to better answer the question 'What should we write about?'.

Brands have led the charge when it comes to poaching journalists to join their marketing teams, but in 2015 agencies will also see the value in highly-trained editorial experts. And it won't just be about one token ex-journalist - the agencies that truly excel in offering branded content will be those who invest in a real team, from editors to copywriters.

These content teams will be well-placed to excel by taking full advantage of the insight and data available in media agencies, and putting this to use to drive strategic editorial plans for clients. By working alongside insight and accounts teams, agency content editors can create data-driven content for clients that's as effective as it is creative - a crucial point for every agency, who will be more accountable than ever.

Precise insight and audience measurement are worthless without an expert editorial eye to put these findings to good use, with quality content that will not just reach consumers, but actually impact them. Just as agencies are getting smarter about the value of content for their businesses, audiences are getting savvier and rejecting poor quality content. Next year, agencies will need to invest in the right editorial talent, and train them to take full advantage of the data and insight available, to see the ROI for their own businesses as well.

The rise and rise of programmatic
Caspar Schlickum, CEO EMEA, Xaxis

Programmatic buying has seen enormous growth over recent years and 2015 will only see this continue, but with some differences as the space matures.

Firstly, while 2014 has seen a lot of talk of programmatic being moved in-house, I think that in 2015 we will see some of the brands that have been vocal about in-housing being equally vocal about moving it back to their agencies. It can be incredibly complicated for some brands to get programmatic right, and developing and maintaining the skills needed to navigate this space can be more efficiently achieved with an agency.

That's not to say that brands won't be highly engaged. I predict that they will start to work more closely with data and with DMPs. Additionally, they will look to de-silo their organisations to create real points of integration with their media buying partners and therefore drive deeper engagement and achieve greater results.

Consolidation in the space will certainly continue, and I expect to see a few big breakout moves where companies on the extreme sides of the Lumascape (agencies or publishers) make big moves to get closer to the other side.

Most excitingly, I think we will finally start to see a convergence of the technology and the creative side of our industry. In 2015 we will see creative agencies start to get more involved in technology and programmatic buys, resulting in some stand out uses of data to drive creative ideas. My bet is that the biggest awards in Cannes this year will go to ideas that were fuelled and made possible by using technology and data.

Out of Home
Mungo Knott, marketing & insight director, Primesight

Continued investment in screen based advertising will see the current London focused footprint extended to reach a wider population across the country next year. This will make out of home digital screen advertising a more scalable and therefore more attractive platform. Primesights 'Network' of 48 sheet digital screens is an example of this move.

We'll also see trading techniques begin to change as the combination of technology and audience data are brought together creating a faster and more automated process. Out of home screens offer an extended reach for digital buying platforms and a number of software companies are working on bringing these fields into closer alignment and allowing real time contextualisation to be achieved for clients which is a powerful driver of effectiveness.

Return on investment is at the heart of what any client wants. A lack of defined audience data has made this a traditionally difficult area for outdoor advertising, but as Route reaches completion across the many outdoor environments it encompasses this data will provide a bedrock to improved understanding of how effective out of home can be by feeding into econometric models as well as planning and trading strategies. Traditional paper and paste billboards will be seen to continue to be a cost effective and powerful marketing platform.

The broadcast and ubiquitous reach of out of home remains in stark contrast to the consumer lifestyle challenges faced by other media. The reach relevance and context of out of home will drive a growing share of marketing budgets into 2015 and beyond.

Tom Linay, head of film, Digital Cinema Media

You may have heard that 2015 is going to be a remarkable year for cinema. If you haven't... 2015 is going to be a remarkable year for cinema.

There's never been a line-up of blockbusters like it. The Avengers once again assemble, there's a revitalised Star Wars featuring returning heroes, and a certain Mr. Bond makes an appearance too. Alongside those behemoths, there's Jurassic World, the final Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fast & Furious 7 and Seth Macfarlane's foul mouthed bear, Ted, is back.

Animation is set for a record breaking year too. For the first time, Pixar will be releasing two films in a year, one of which, Inside Out, promises to be their most striking since Up. There's also a spin-off from 2013's biggest film Despicable Me 2 and the titans of Marvel and Disney Animation join forces with Big Hero 6.

The awards season features a number of titles that can stand toe-to-toe with any selection from recent years. Stunning performances are everywhere you look, from Eddie Redmayne (The Theory Of Everything), Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) and Miles Teller (Whiplash). There's also ambitious projects from cinematic visionaries, including Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's Birdman and Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice.

In our opinion, there's never been a year like it. 2014 has seen some truly fantastic big screen content from The Lego Movie and 12 Years A Slave to Guardians Of The Galaxy and Interstellar but 2015 has the power to eclipse them all.

The full potential of RTB
Nigel Gilbert, vice president EMEA, AppNexus

2015 will likely see seismic shifts in the ad tech landscape as brands, publishers and agencies realise the full potential of real-time advertising. If history is any guide to the future, the industry looks set for a number of significant strategic moves by the major technology companies in what we've christened the ad-tech power game. By the end of 2015, a crowded, and somewhat confusing technology landscape is likely to be simplified by the emergence of full-stack ad tech solutions.

Against this backdrop of consolidation, 'clear blue water' will emerge between the differentiation offered by the open ecosystem, and the limitations presented by the closed ecosystems. In the open ecosystem, innovators will thrive as new technology is used to help publishers, agencies and brands adapt to the real time world, by leveraging a rich combination of data, content, and audiences. In the closed ecosystem, unique data can be leveraged to create rich, but exclusive, insights that will continue to shift the balance of power in the media industry away from content creation and toward audience consumption.

Regardless of approach, the tide will continue to turn in the battle against 'Robotic banditry'. Fraud, viewability and brand safety coloured much of the debate around programmatic in 2014, but they are issues the industry has genuinely begun to address through initiatives such as the IAB's standards on viewability and AppNexus' Certified Supply programme, identifying the safest and most trusted inventory on the internet and providing buyers with financial guarantees.

As a result, marketers' and publishers' confidence in programmatic will continue to grow throughout 2015. As the ad tech power game plays out, everyone will make his or her choices between the open and closed model for the future of the industry.

Wearable tech
Nishat Mehta, executive vice president, global partnerships, dunnhumby

The impact of technology on health - Apple's and Google's Health offerings will become more widespread next year with the introduction of Apple Watch and enhancements to various health-tracking apps to leverage new wearable devices. This trend will result in phones becoming even more personal and indispensable to users, while also forcing marketers to be more responsible in the way they use customer data.

Customers gain more control over the use of their data - with more and more wearable technology enabling users to create their own data, new commercial models will have to develop to compel a customer to share their data with a marketer. I am looking for companies like DataCoup and others to experiment with the right models and push the rest of the industry down this path. The marketer will benefit through more accurate data and clear permission on how they can use it.

Online and offline retail will blur - with offline retailers beginning to understand how to compete with online retailers (through immediate gratification, in-store experiences, better customer service, etc.) and online retailers exploring same-day delivery, there will no longer be pure-play online or offline retailers. Every retailer is going to have to become omni-channel offering customers multiple ways to interact, depending on the preference of each customer.

The rise of the hybrid
Matthew Hook, managing director, Carat

The last decade has seen the media landscape disrupted as never before and this has created hyper-specialisation of agencies, clients and individuals. This has led to a mutual lack of inter-operation between channels, global and local, marketing and service, generalist and specialist. In the age of media convergence these barriers have to be broken down and therefore I believe that 2015 will be the year of the hybrid.

Organisations that are able to straddle these divides, either internally or through brilliant partnerships and collaboration, will prosper. Individuals that have the experience and the outlook to bring together the best of offline and online, global and local, engagement and commerce will thrive. In the market we will see the rise of media owners with more rounded and connected propositions.

The most valuable marketing work will be projects that unite many parts of the client organisation and can flow from market to market without becoming meaningless. At the heart of this needs to sit a cross-fertilisation of disciplines and mindsets, driven by hybrid ways of working and thinking.

Mass personalisation
Julia Ayling, head of intelligence, Mindshare

Customisation is going mainstream. 2015 will be the year of mass personalisation, when personalisation becomes the norm.

The increasing volume of data available and advances in the understanding and interpretation of this data have pushed personalisation into the forefront of conversation and this is set to continue.

Advertising is already being tailored using variations of content, language and pointers using data from demographics and facial recognition to target customers. iBeacons, Path Intelligence track and 3D printing are all technologies which are set to take off and be a sizeable part of the advertising spectrum in the next twelve months.

Brands need to be taking this opportunity by becoming the facilitators that allow consumers to get things on their own terms, when and how they want them. They will have the opportunity to deepen the personal relationship and emotional bond with their customers but they also need to keep in mind that the product range still recognises the customers as individuals.

Questions are already being raised in response to this. The obvious conversation around data privacy is already being had - there is already consumer resistance to brands knowing this much about them. What will consumers expect in exchange for their data - is personalisation enough? How do we keep a broad perspective on the world and avoid looking at things in the future from an insular point of view? Brands will need the right judgement to know when and how to offer this balance.

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