2010 Forecasts: Layoffs May Supress The Recovery

What will happen in our industries next year? This holiday season, we’re asking industry figures to peer in to their crystal ball; here’s the full series

Today: Peter Bale runs MSN UK as executive producer. How did his 2009 forecasts pan out?

Biggest opportunity?

“Online video will start to come into its own in 2010. Video will start to be everywhere and good quality.”


“Optimistic about MSN, growth in digital consumption and slightly nervous about UK economy.”

Biggest hurdle/risk?

“The impact on the UK economy of potentially growing and persistent unemployment is the biggest risk to my mind.”

How will 2010 be different from 2009?

“I expect several major UK newspapers to go behind pay walls, providing them with a huge test of reader loyalty and advertiser confidence. Their bravery will ripple through the industry. I hope a free ad-funded site such as MSN can gain some extra readers but I totally respect what the print owners are trying to do to defend print revenues and see if they can set an online price.”

How will the wider economy manifest in the sector next year?

“If the UK stays in recession longer than the rest of Europe and unemployment climbs, we could have a rough first two quarters. But I strongly believe that there will be a surge in online advertising from March onwards as measurements get more sophisticated, value is better and the economy picks up.”

2009 highlight?

“My personal highlight was launching MSN Video long-form pilot and having it fully funded with advertising. It gave me great confidence. Genuinely, I think the industry highlight will be proven to be the launch of Bing