During a recent hotel stay, I flipped on the television and found one of my kids’ favorite movies. It was about halfway through, so they asked me to start it over. It never occurred to them: TV doesn’t work that way. In fact, for Gen Z, the concept of “missing” part of a movie is absurd. They grew up in the age of video streaming where content is always accessible and their favorite movie is basically always “on.” And for those of us who have grown accustomed to new digital transformation trends in media, it would be difficult to go back to the digital dark ages. What do we have to look forward to in the years ahead?
Last year we took a look at the top digital transformation trends in several industries, including media and entertainment. As we head into 2019, what we have in terms of digital transformation trends in media and entertainment is truly reflected in the trends of media consumption. People want content on demand—tailored to their interests—and accessible any time they want it. On the other hand, advertisers want access to these warm bodies, putting their sights on video to do it. Below are the biggest digital transformation trends in media and entertainment to look for in 2019.
Commercials galore. In 2019, we’ll see an increased spend on digital video advertising. According to eMarketer, between 2015 and 2019, the amount of digital video advertising transacted programmatically will nearly double. (Along with this spending, I’d say there will also be an increase in annoyance as web users experience the frustration of commercials being added to every piece of content they try view, or spontaneously starting when they open a web page. Maybe that’s just me.)
Marketing takes a new turn—toward AI and machine learning. Gone are the days of mass marketing or throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. Today, streaming companies are finding greater success in using AI to market to hyper segmented audiences. In fact, a growing number of viewers say they’re finding their content via their streaming company’s recommendations—creating their own “me channel.” The same is true with music. Most of the new bands I’ve discovered have been found courtesy of Spotify’s personalized music selections. Gone are the days of hipster record shops. I can learn about obscure bands just by tuning into the right AI. This is good news from both perspectives: content creator and consumer.
Multichannel is everywhere. Think about it: when was the last time you watched TV without also checking out social media or other apps on your phone? It’s no longer enough for consumers to consume one mode of entertainment. We need a constant multiplatform experience to feel engaged and satisfied. That’s why many brands are discovering the power of multi-channel in keeping viewers engaged.
Demand for mobile data will rise. As media and entertainment companies move to make digital content accessible, consumers are demanding greater access to data to carry that content. Even today, Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to stream content than watch it on TV! This isn’t a demand that can be ignored. It will change the way data is packaged and sold. Just like our phones increasingly hold more space for photos and video, mobile providers will need to provide more space for us to access the content providers are offering. My gut tells me many cable providers will move toward a focus on 5G as more consumers cut loose for subscription services like Hulu, Netflix, and even Amazon. New business models for cable providers are definitely on their way.
Personally, if I could choose one sentence to sum up digital transformation trends in media and entertainment in 2019, it would be this: advertising is everywhere—so much so that I anticipate a semi-backlash. In fact, a recent survey showed nearly 40 percent of content consumers are open to spending to avoid the ad attack. Will that push digital content providers to find new revenue streams, as well? That’s a question I’ll leave for 2020.
The original version of this article was first published on Forbes.