Monday, December 31, 2007

Predictions for 2008

A few personal predictions for 2008:

Firstly, take it for granted that the number of internet users, mobile ussers, PVR users and braodband users will go up, as will the amount of money spent in both advertising and also purchasing online.

Main predictions -

The Google Doubleclick deal will be approved in Europe, as it has been in the US, and this will shake up display advertising. Network inventory will become more valuable as Google (& others) develop more sophisticated ways to target consumers. At some point in the future when you arrive at a page the ad server will decide to show you an ad based on either a) what pages you have previously viewed, b) what search result took you to the page, c) the content of the page you are on, or d) your geographical location. I have also heard rumours that if (when) the deal goes through some major sites will refuse to take Doubleclick tags, as it will let Google indirectly see how much traffic they are getting, what their click rates are etc, so expect major standoffs. & journalists will still fail to understand what ad serving is, and why it is important - for example The Observer this weekend still referred to Doubleclick as an advertising company.

Social networking will grow, but many individual social networks will decline. From the industry data I've seen some of the big players are at or near saturation point in major markets - can they really get over 40% reach in markets in a month? Also, people will get bored of what is on offer. I know I visit the sites less often - do you too?

Gaming will become even more interactive, with the launch of 3 new games next year - the Wii Fit (a foot-controller for the Wii), Rockband (like Guitar Hero, but for 4 players), and the all-conquering Grand Theft Auto 4.

In mobile, other handset manufacturers will try to catch the iPhone with new handsets, and Apple will launch a greatly enhanced new iPhone.

More bands will do a Radiohead, and release music directly to fans. Trent Reznor of the NIN has a good business model - the music for free, a higher quality version, with artwork etc for a fee.

Digital media in Asia will grow faster than in Europe, with the effect of the Olympics, and also the continuation of current trends - for example India added more mobile subscribers in 2006 than the UK has in total.

New Web 2.0 companies will continue to be bought for amazing amounts - $300m for Digg anyone?

& some company that we have never heard of will be on everyone's lips by the end of the year, showing that the continuation of innovation in digital media.

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