Daily Fresh News

Bala on media industry predictions for 2018

We feel 2018 is going to be very confusing to many in the Malaysian media industry, so we decided to ask Bala Pomaleh (picture), CEO of IPG Mediabrands Malaysia, for some clarity….

What are some of the strong media trends that will be seen in 2018?

From a media share perspective, digital media will continue to outpace all other types of media, with print continuing to be challenged to hold on to its share. We will see video make strong inroads as a format as it cuts across various types of media including TV, social, online and even OOH, especially with new video formats like 6-second ads coming into the picture.

Issues on brand safety, ad fraud and viewability will come under further scrutiny in the coming year, as agencies and advertisers ensure money invested is responsibly spent to deliver marketing results.

As customer targeting becomes paramount, more investments will be made towards Audience Management Platforms (AMP) too, as this will improve the marketing ROI. Hand-in-hand with this, analytics as a discipline will play an even bigger role moving forward.

Will the subscription model market continue to dominate ie. Netflix and Iflix?

With the exception of Astro, most other subscription-based services are still very much at an  infancy stage. Service providers like Netflix may never grow mass as their content is targeted to a niche segment of the market, however we do expect more players to get into the ecosystem in the short run, with a possible consolidation of players down the line.

Currently, there are over 15 service providers in the market offering paid, free and hybrid models to subscribers. What is important is for these players to know which segments they are pursuing, and to appropriately tailor the right content towards their audiences.

Another critical factor to consider is piracy, the control of which will play a big role in determining the success of these services, as many types of content are freely available.

Will the print industry see a resurgence?

The print industry has been undergoing a big challenge to make itself more profitable, with many already downsizing their workforce as well as assets to manage their cost structure, all in anticipation of declining readership.

If print operators are able to rethink how they can make advertising in their media more interesting and deliver better results for clients, it would not be impossible to have a resurgence in the industry.

Creativity really is the key here. If they are able to unlock this, advertising support will certainly continue.

Will the media industry remain fragmented and will fake news continue to be an unchecked problem especially with single viewpoint journalism and mass blogging continuing to rise?

Fragmentation will continue to be the norm as more channels and authors get into the space.

However, with better targeting technology, ads can get embedded into more relevant content to contextualize it.

Fake news will persist, despite rising awareness of its existence, though it is encouraging to see more action being taken to combat its pervasiveness in the media.

It is important that the community as a whole collaborate, identify and make public irresponsible reporting, to ensure that we discourage fake news authors.

From a tech perspective, there are numerous tools that enable the identification of fake news content to allow for sites and authors to be blacklisted.

Will digital radio perform as a media platform?

Increasingly, our mobile device is our primary tool for listening to music, so it is no surprise that formats on digital radio will rise. What will be interesting is if format radio will prevail vs. on demand services like Spotify.

One out of five listeners are already on Spotify, and we can expect this figure to rise in the coming year.

How is artificial intelligence changing media with analytics, audience matching and search processing?… 

The capabilities for these services are already present. Adoption is slow, but gradually gaining momentum, fueled by better access and more organized data. In time, AI will play a bigger role as huge amounts of data are processed to make meaningful sense of insights and actions plans.

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