10 reasons why 2023 will be another roller coaster in media
Changes in big tech, audience consumption and platform ownership mean we're in for another wild ride in media land. Fresh from publishing 'Tailwinds: Future of Media 2023', Paul McEntee picks out 10 key points that will shape the year.
Will 2023 be a renaissance or an obituary for the platform? As the dust settles from the Musk purchase era, we are about to find out. Huge editorial staff layoffs and a potential exodus of prized users who now have to pay for the verified blue tick mean that the platform is not what it was. Brands should test and learn if the platform still works for them before deciding where to spend their marketing dollars.
TikTok has had a bumpy few years over privacy and regulation. But it is having a moment right now. The platform is surging ahead in how it distributes news (3.9 million UK adults cite it as a news source in 2022 vs 0.8 million in 2020), with broadcasters in particular capitalizing on the algorithm and how it promotes content. TikTok isn't formally recognising this yet, but where Twitter is currently failing news organisations, TikTok could swoop in.
Millenials are reported to have an attention span of 8 seconds, Gen Z even lower. In a world of fragmented media consumption, media outlets and brands need to find a way of communicating their POV in a way which attracts and retains attention. Social platforms have mastered this, but check out social-first news platform The News Movement for an example of how one outlet is taking complexity and delivering it as easily digestible formats for this distracted generation.
In addition to news, TikTok has become a search platform for Gen Z, who are using it to find restaurants to go to, brands to buy and influencers to follow. The platform is currently testing a 'near me' function in Asia which serves the user videos from their immediate proximity. Watch out Google
Signed up for a newsletter from a media organization? Great, because apparently we haven't hit peak newsletter yet, with only 9% of people getting their news from this source (per Reuters Digital News Report) and growing.
Never far from the debate on fake news vs authenticity, trust has become a huge factor again due to ChatGPT. The AI software is scarily good at writing almost anything. Lazy copywriters - be they brand side or media outlet side - could be drawn like a moth to a flame in order to produce quick copy fast. Exercise caution and verify what you read.
Whether monetizing the creative economy or niche journalists/experts becoming their own gatekeepers, micropayments for specific blog content is on the rise. Substack recently passed the mark of 500,000 for paying subscribers and Patreon, Mirror and Medium are also earning cash for scribes.
Ofcom (News Report 2022) paints a picture of TV showing resilience, radio down (perhaps losing out to podcasts), print newspaper circulation in decline while online versions show greenshoots. Don't be surprised to see further print newspapers disappear this year.
Web3 mass adoption may be some years off, but Apple will enter the hardware race this year with its rather expensive but no doubt beautiful metaverse device. Expect amazing UX and slick design, giving more people reason to explore the next iteration of the internet.
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Did we mention TikTok?
The platform is on a roll, with e-com being a major expansion route for 2023. In China 10bn products a year are sold via this functionality, so you bet your dollar it will be coming in strong again.
Paul McEntee is founder of Here Be Dragons PR agency. Download the full report Tailwinds: Future of Media 2023