From using 360 footage and VR to aid immersive story-telling, to hours of news items focused on just one tweet (thanks Donald!), 2017 saw huge changes in the way the media reports on stories and how audiences consume content.
2018 is set to be another year of change and innovation and we’ve outlined our thoughts on what are likely to be the big media trends over the next 12 months.
1. It’s all about the voice
With a huge rise in the installation of personal home assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod, we are likely to see voice become a key medium for consumers to receive news and briefings. Not to mention the continued popularity of podcasts and audiobooks, 2018 is likely to be a big year for voice! This is likely to be music to the ears of marketers who can reach their audiences with engaging content that can be consumed passively, rather than the all-consuming nature of video.
2. More regulation for influencers
Expect influencer marketing to become much more structured and regulated over the coming months. In early 2017, influencer marketing was a wild west of sponsorship and advertising deals between brands and social media personalities. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have been scratching their heads for some time to find out how they can get a slice of the pie and that has led to the social media giants approving brand partnerships with clear labelling to the audience that it’s paid-for content. Expect more of this as 2018 progresses.
3. Rich content gets richer
Expect major news sites such as BBC News and Vice to continue investing in rich content. Full page scrollers and embedded videos became commonplace in 2017 and expect more progress in 2018. Traditional news outlets are having to compete with online-only platforms in creating news content that is both informative and engaging. A welcome development for us news junkies!
4. Bitcoin bamboozlement
No ‘trends of 2018’ article would be complete with at least one mention of Bitcoin! Although the cryptocurrency isn’t likely to have a huge direct influence on media, expect to see brands leverage Bitcoin for financial gain. Recently, a little-known US burger chain briefed to the media that they were merely exploring the possibility of creating a proprietary cryptocurrency and their stock price rose an incredible 95%! The media’s obsession with Bitcoin and blockchain is unlikely to subside in 2018.
5. Sliding into DMs
With WhatsApp and Messenger likely to open their APIs to brands to directly communicate with consumers over the coming months, it’s likely that the news media will take full advantage of this development. Expect the major news outlets to send tailored daily briefings and newsflashes direct to your messaging apps for a more personal service.
Whatever happens in 2018, we’re likely to see sweeping changes to way we consume media and it’s the job of marketers and PR professionals to figure out how that translates into commercial success.
By Leon Emirali, Director and Co-Founder, Crest Communications