Media Trends and Predictions for 2020

Streaming wars heat up

Last year we predicted that the big screen would make a comeback, and we were right: our TV and Audience Measurement data from various European countries confirms that audiences are turning to the TV set for their online TV viewing. In Norway, consumption of online video content on the big screen increased by 25% in June-September 2019, compared with the previous year. This is supported by increased market penetration for Connected TVs.

Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) has had a strong year for global players including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and myriad local providers like iQiyi in China and Hotstar in India. There’s new even fiercer competition with major media owners including Disney and HBO Maz getting into action, in addition to Apple and WarnerMedia.

Kantar predicts that the future of tv in 2020 and beyond will be the continued convergence of TV, including online streaming and video, with high-quality content at its heart. Consumers will continue to use advertiser-funded and subscription based services, but the ever-increasing amount of available content and platforms will lead to a paradox of choice; more isn’t always better.

5G will be real

The world is finally entering the much anticipated 5G era, and China is leading the charge.

The superfast mobile internet began its early stages of rollout across many major economies in 2019, including the UK, US and South Korea. But China is at the forefront, with 5G subscribers already exceeding 10m people – though this is still a drop in the ocean compared to the 847m mobile users in China.

With mobile carriers planning extensive infrastructure investment and many 5G devices soon to be launched, global industry body GSMA is predicting 600m 5G connections in China by 2025, if not sooner. There is no question about the immense opportunities that 5G will provide impacting most business sectors.

Migration for media owners, marketers and agencies will allow people to stream TV and video content without a wi-fi connection. It could also support the Internet of Things devices such as smart product packaging, as well as connected technologies like sportswear and facilitate hyper personalised brand experiences.

Newer audio channels may go mainstream in 2020

When it comes to audio technology, smart speakers and voice are generating the most buzz. New generations will grow up with audio seamlessly embedded into their lives, they will voice their commands, questions and desires and expect speedy responses from a variety of voice-enabled devices.

Kantar predicts that 2020 could herald a new age of audio advertising. It expects podcasts to be one of the fastest growing channels for ad spend according to our Getting Media Right 2019 study, 63% of marketers say they plan to increase spend in podcast advertising in the next 12 months.

Radio will continue to modernise in a way that helps brands reach new audiences, to reinforce its position as a relevant and reliable advertising medium.

Content meets Commerce

Chinese mobile shopping has been driven by social media ecosystems. Content also meets commerce in Western markets with shoppable ads on Snap, Amazon, Google, Pinterest ‘shop the look’ ads and Facebook’s dynamic ads. Online first brands like Glossier, or Bergamotte in France as well as influencers and creators, are naturally flocking to formats like Instagram’s shoppable posts.

Kanta predicts that experimentation with shoppable formats will speed up this year. It remains to be seen whether cryptocurrency innovations to support this like Facebook’s Libra will launch.

Esports to go mainstream

Several mainstream brands have already sponsored esports, including Gillette, Mastercard, Dell, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Intel, Nike and ABInbev quite a shift from an industry originally sponsored by game manufacturers.

We predict that as esports tournaments gain more mainstream prominence in 2020, they will present lucrative opportunities for media owners and advertisers who are ready to capitalise on them. Offering a seamless blend of online and real life, esports presents a wide array of media opportunities.

Authenticity in a digital world

Kantar predicts that brands will step up attempts to balance their dependence on digital with real-world experiences, which means we could see a slowdown in the growth of digital advertising.

But with almost a third of the marketers (31%) still struggling to integrate their media and non-media touchpoints, they will also need to break down those silos to achieve growth in both the short and long-term.

Influencers must measure what matters

The risks of influencer marketing is now apparent: inappropriate endorsements, lack of transparency and fake followers all damage the credibility of influencers and the brands that use them, not to mention the trust of their followers.

Kantar predicts that influencer marketing will reach maturity in 2020. Brands will start to take measurement more seriously and move on from simply looking at likes, to more strategic metrics such as brand and sales impact.

Brands will take a stand

It is also like that in 2020 brands will be more radical and take action to support big causes.

Presidential elections to influence advertisers

With a divided US political climate and a contentious Presidential election ahead, political advertising will be a major factor shaping the US media landscape next year.

Kantar predicts that political ad spending will reach US$6 billion in 2020 across Federal state and local campaigns, meaning a windfall for media companies and lots of clutter for marketers.

The cookie crumbles

Since the mid 90’s, the cookie has been used to track online behaviour. Websites use their own first-party cookies to improve site visitation experience for example by storing your log-in data or saving items in your shopping cart.

The advertising industry has become heavily reliant on cookies to activate and assess online campaigns.

But in a world where data privacy and transparency concerns continue to intensify, and the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) influence spreads outside of Europe, technology providers like Apple, Google and Mozilla Firefox are moving to allow users to block third-party cookies in their browsers. So the prediction is a cookieless era.

The data era

We predict that in 2020 brands will continue to target consumers based on data and data ethics will come to the fore. Companies may even employ specialists in this area.

Media in-housing

As the industry evolves, we predict that agencies and advertisers will need to ensure they fully understand both media consumption and consumer needs for in-housing to succeed.

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