Saturday, December 30, 2006

Looking back and forwards (5)

As indicated in the former blogs, video will continue to dominate the content scene. But this will not say that nothing else will happen. I will share some hunches I have about developments in the following areas:
- music industry;
- search engines;
- newspapers;
- social networks;
- mobile content;
- crossmedia.

The music industry was nicely under way in developing a decent, legal industry in which downloaders paid for their music. But looking at a report of the Dutch Consumer Association, many a remark can be made about the delivery and payment. Of course this does not help the sales, as many a music lover does not want to troubled by hindrances. Besides in Europe, collecting societies are getting under fire for topping up charges, ranging from blank licence charges to copyright charges. I will come back to this problem next week.

Google will have a problem in 2007. Google has been growing without any real competition in search engines and marketing. But I am wondering whether the time has come that Google will get competition from other search engines. People get tired of being offered so many irrelevant references. I still guess that FAST is a real competitor and I would not be surprised to see European parties getting in on the act with Theseus and Quaero and another US search engine coming up as I referred in an earlier blog. I do not think that Google is going to loose on marketing, but guess that the gloss of the search engine will get dull over the year.

Newspapers have been the slow transformers during the internet era. But 2007 will be a good year for newspapers. Revenues of advertisements will increase and are already increasing to such an extent that Google likes to be in on the act. It means that newspapers will start to work together in order to gather up advertisements in print and on internet. I am wondering whether the US newspaper publishers will pick up the old idea of the Century advertisement network, while other publishers will start to invest more in internet.

Cross-media has been a buz term in the past year. In my opinion it was a term showing the integration of internet into the media world. Now that this stage has been reached the use of the term will be discontinued. Internet was never meant to be a medium standing on its own. But as we were so busy with mastering internet and social software we hardly realised that we needed integrated approaches of print, broadcast and internet.

Social networks have made quite a run in the past year. And they will make more impact using blogs, vlogs and network software such as My Space and Xinq. I like the idea of My Space, but I am still wondering about all this virtuality. I think that blogs will loose importance in quantity. Vlogs will follow the hype of YouTube and the networks will still stick to My Space for a while.

Mobile content will not grow fast, despite forecasts from Informa Telecom & Media, which predict a doubling of revenues up to 38 billion by 2011. Ringtones and full-track downloads will continue to generate revenues. Mobile TV services are claimed to soar, but I doubt this very much due to the mobile environment and the seize of the screen. Mobile games are not growing spectacularly, while wallpapers are going to fall behind.

These are just content related forecasts for 2007. ,

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