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2020 trends and predictions by Kantar: What can marketers expect?

2020 trends and predictions by Kantar: What can marketers expect?

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Change in the media landscape is accelerating at an unrelenting pace with new technologies, platforms and business models continuing to re-shape the industry. As the new years comes at us full speed ahead, Kantar has unveiled its 2020 trends and predictions that would potentially impact the media industry landscape in the coming year.

According to Kantar, the trends and predictions fall into three main themes:
-the technology trends transforming the media landscape;
-the spaces that brands can credibly occupy;
-the context and catalysts for change.

Here's part 1 of the agency's trends and predictions:

1. Streaming wars

While broadcast still dominates the TV landscape, streaming (online viewing) is gaining ground. Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) has had a strong year for global players including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and myriad local providers such as iQiyi in China and Hotstar in India.


The report said that there is even fiercer competition now with major media owners including Disney and HBO Max getting into the action, in addition to Apple and WarnerMedia. Local TV players are also combining forces to develop subscription services, such as the recently launched Britbox, a joint venture of BBC Studios and ITV.

According to Kantar, consumers will continue to use advertiser-funded and subscription-based services in 2020.

However, the ever-increasing amount of available content and platforms will lead to a paradox of choice; more is not always better. This may positively impact brand advertisers, the report predicts. With new types of content come new measurement challenges, hence Kantar predicts that there will be strategic opportunities for advertisers in areas such as product placement, branded integrations and co-promotions.

"But the rise of ad-free subscription platforms will also mean restricted opportunities for advertising. Meanwhile, TV content providers of all types will need to pay even closer attention to their customers’ demands and interests, to keep them engaged," the report said.

2. '5G gets real'

5G is one topic that has recently surfaced and discussed in the industry. Kantar predicts that 5G is expected to impact most business sectors, from manufacturing to services, and potentially bring unprecedented change to consumers’ lives. The marketing and communications industry will be one of the key beneficiaries of the 5G era, the report says, adding that it will enable greater capabilities to reach and engage with consumers. However, this will likely require a significant transformation from marketers, Kantar stated.


According to Kantar, while 5G will allow people to stream TV and video content without a WiFi connection, there will also be challenges.

"More devices mean there will be even more fragmented datasets to be integrated and consolidated, in order to gain a holistic consumer view for marketers. Additionally, walled gardens will need to connect with other platforms to achieve a complete picture of the consumer, and this is no small task. Beyond the logistics, the privacy concerns of consumers and the data protection regulations, such as Europe’s GDPR, must be considered," the report said, adding:

There will be a fine line between providing a better experience and overstepping the mark.

Hence, Kantar predicts that 5G will bring many more opportunities for marketers, but will also demand significant transformation in the industry.

3. 'Turning up the volume' 

According to Kantar, audio is far broader than smart speakers, that 2020 could herald a new age of audio advertising. Podcasts, the report says will turn out to be one of the fastest growing channels for ad spend. However, to do that, podcasts need to become more measurable to help advertisers and brands understand the ROI from their investments.


"The intimate and highly personal nature of podcasts offers advertisers a highly receptive audience. And being one of the least cluttered channels, they are also one of the most engaging - our measurement of podcast advertising shows above average lifts on metrics such as purchase intent when compared to our norms data," the report said.

As such, Kantar predicts that 2020 could be the make-or-break moment for newer audio channels. However, brands could lose interest in voice commerce if smart speaker manufacturers fail to improve their functionality. In addition, Kantar said radio will continue to modernise in a way that helps brands reach new audiences, to reinforce its position as a relevant and reliable advertising medium.

4. Content meets commerce

Due to the rise of social commerce, the report stated that direct commerce revenues could boost ad revenues for online media owners. As such, 2020 will see more media channels experimenting with their versions of shoppable ads.


"Platforms will also invest further in live commerce in 2020. We’ve already seen Amazon introduce Amazon Live in 2019, following in the footsteps of platforms such as Alibaba’s Taobao, which showed a livestream conversion rate of 32%," Kantar said, adding that Tencent has also integrated live streaming into WeChat, potentially opening up eCommerce options.  According to Kantar, certain is that many eCommerce and social media platforms, online and mobile video channels, and even TV and OOH, will race to keep pace with this changing eCommerce landscape.

5. Get ready to play

Esports is huge, and was also recently included as a sport event in the Southeast Asia Games 2019. Kantar predicts that as esports tournaments gain more mainstream prominence in 2020, it will also present lucrative opportunities for the media owners and advertisers who are ready to capitalise on them. However, those who have yet to understand how to fit in to the esports world, will still likely have opportunities for content, advertising and sponsorship next year. According to Kantar, 2020 will also see more traditional sports move into esports, for example football clubs establishing their own esports teams, and Formula One streamed over Twitch with gamification.


"As coverage of esports expands into traditional media, we predict that esports players will become well-known celebrities and influencers in their own right. With such a wide array of options, it will be important for advertisers to properly evaluate the ROI potential and brand fit. Esports has arrived; it’s now time for media owners and advertisers to learn the rules and get ready to play the game," the report said. 

6. Back to reality

Digital is set to consolidate its dominance in 2020, with 84% of marketers planning to increase spend in online video, and 70% planning to increase spend in social media, according to Kantar's recent Getting Media Right report. This means that online players will attempt to bring their brands to life in the real world and build closer connections with consumers. This will also see multimedia advertisers will looking for ways to better integrate their digital marketing efforts with offline experiences.


Kantar predicts that as brands step up attempts to balance their dependence on digital with real-world experiences, there would likely be a slowdown in the growth of digital advertising. "But with almost a third of marketers (31%) still struggling to integrate their media and non-media touchpoints, they will also need to break down those silos to achieve growth in both the short and long-term," the report said.

Watch this space for Part 2 of the predictions!

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