Outlook: Media and consumer tech in 2015

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Video ad-tech boom
  3. Linear OTT advances
  4. Never-ending net neutrality
  5. Apple impact: TV and payments
  6. Key takeaways
  7. About Paul Sweeting

1. Summary

Media business sectors went through the digital wringer in 2014: the reinventions of music, newspapers, and book publishing are not finished, though such change is certainly underway. And this past year we saw the first serious signs of disruption in the biggest sector of all as television began its heave and quake from cord-cutting, alternative platforms, advertising shifts, and audience fragmentation.

Some of the key trends we’ll be watching develop in 2015 include:

  • Video advertising technology saw its share of investment and consolidation, particularly in online video, last year. Now the payoff starts, and we may even see some online techniques like programmatic ad-buying gain traction for traditional, linear TV.
  • Over-the-top (OTT) television will become a serious alternative for programmers and advertisers as broadcast and cable networks alike make more of their shows available online. Verizon and AT&T will launch initiatives in 2015, and while those companies claim to be targeting mobile users, the endgame is the big screen. At the same time, there is tremendous tension over traditionally cheaper online ad inventory.
  • The net neutrality wars will accelerate, with a serious FCC vote likely in the first half of 2015. Whatever the result — and it looks like full Title II reclassification of broadband access might happen — litigation will follow. At a minimum that means months of legal skirmishing lie ahead before we have any certain outcome or enforceable rules on net neutrality.
  • Apple will continue to roil the TV and consumer space. Don’t expect an Apple TV set so much as its own version of TV-Everywhere infrastructure and services. And though Apple Pay will be limited by device availability, it will goad retailers into supporting it, or a secure alternative.

Thumbnail image courtesy of scanrail/iStock.

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