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Esports, streaming wars, shopvertising to dominate digital media trends in 2020

Digital media will witness difficulties in connecting with consumers

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MUMBAI: Technology will continue to disrupt and reshape the digital media industry in 2020, presenting new opportunities and challenges for advertisers and media owners. While digital media will continue to grow globally, the coming of new technologies, platforms and digital touch points will force marketers to readapt their skills, engagement models and measurement capabilities to meaningfully engage with consumers in a cluttered media market.

This emerging digital paradox - the co-existence of growth and expansion potential in digital media alongside the deluge of digital touch-points which will make it more difficult to connect with consumers - is the focus of the Kantar’s global 2020 Media Trends and Predictions report. In this fast-changing digital media landscape, marketers will also need to navigate the ‘data dilemma,’ to meet consumer demand for relevant, personalised content. And as third-party cookies start to crumble, advertisers will need to find alternative measurement solutions, the report says.

The curse of the plenty? Streaming wars to continue in 2020

Nowhere is the deluge of digital touch points more visible than in the crowded OTT space. Considered a niche space with limited players just a few years ago, there are now dozens of big OTT players in every OTT market in the world now. 2019 also saw the entry of Apple TV + and Disney + to the club whereas HBO Max and Warner Media are also getting in action.  

This increased competition for customer retention and acquiring new customers may seem healthy, providing more choices to consumers, but subscripting fatigue can lead to industry consolidation, the report predicts.

The report quotes TGI Global Quick View Data to show that 44 per cent of connected consumers in Great Britain who pay for online streaming services have at least two subscriptions, 18 per cent pay for at least three, and seven per cent pay for four or more. This means that entry for new subscription-based services might not be easy.

“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 is not always better,” the report says, adding that content will be key to stand out in this crowded OTT market.

Esports: The next frontier of expansion

Originally, a hobby for teenagers, esports has now gone truly mainstream. Esports is huge. Over 1.2 million people claim to watch esports in Great Britain alone, according to the TGI survey. In Brazil, nearly one third (32 per cent) of internet users, around 30 million people, say they are active esports fans. This growth is also reflected in the increase in the number of minutes streamed on Twitch, the leading esports platform. Twitch usage totalled 292 billion minutes in 2016 and is expected to reach 600 billion by the end of 2019.

Global brands like Gillett, Mastercard, Dell, Coca Cola, Toyota, Intel, Nike are already sponsors of esports tournaments.

The report predicts that as esports tournaments gain more mainstream prominence in 2020, they will present lucrative opportunities for the media owners and advertisers who are ready to capitalise on them.

2020 will also see more traditional sports move into esports: for instance, football clubs establishing their own esports teams, and Formula One streamed
over Twitch with gamification.

And as coverage of esports expands into traditional media, the report predicts, esports players will become well-known celebrities and influencers in their own right.  

Shopvertising: When shopping meets advertising on digital media

Content meets commerce in Western markets with shoppable ads on Snap and Amazon, Google, Pinterest ‘shop the look’ ads, and Facebook’s dynamic ads. Brands globally are flocking to formats like Instagram’s shoppable posts.

Even on TikTok, the ByteDance-owned short-form video platform popular for lip-syncing clips and user-generated challenges, video ads redirect to microsites where people can shop.

The report also talks about a new frontier of shoppable TV. South Korea's LG is enhancing TV sets with shoppable Augmented Reality (AR) in home shopping shows.

The report predicts that with the rise of social commerce, direct commerce revenues could boost ad revenues for online media owners and more media channels will experiment with their versions of shoppable ads.

The experimentation with shoppable formats in digital and traditional media will speed up this year, the report adds.

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