Deloitte unveils 2009 global predictions for media


Deloitte unveiled what it forecasts as major trends and issues in the media and entertainment sector for 2009, including the rising cost of free online content, the increasing success of mobile advertising and the draw of 3D technology across multiple entertainment genres.

"Two thousand nine will be a year of significant opportunities and challenges in an industry that has already seen its fair share of disruption," said Phil Asmundson, Deloitte LLP vice chairman and national managing partner for Technology, Media and Telecommunications. "Economic conditions, media consumption preferences and digital technology advancements will impact both consumer spending and business investments in the year ahead."
Among the highlights:

The Rising Cost of Free Online Content: The public’s 15 minutes of online fame could fast be receding, given the rising costs of storing content. For the largest sites, hosting user-generated content could cost over $100 million per year. But the ability to realize revenue from that content remains a challenge. Advertisers are generally reluctant to place ads next to any content that could damage a client’s brand. So to generate revenue, sites may need to start charging to upload or share content.

Mobile Advertising Finds Its Meaning: With global advertising experiencing double-digit decreases and the coming year promising an even tougher economy, mobile advertising’s time may have come. More able than ever before to carry advertising, mobile phones are at their most ubiquitous — and there is a more mature understanding of what mobile can and cannot deliver in advertising.

In 2009, a growing number of campaigns will use the minimalism of mobile to powerful effect — modeling themselves on one of mobile’s most successful campaigns to date — the U.S. presidential election’s use of text messaging. Mobile advertising will really take off when advertising can be sent to the entire mobile community with a single click.

3D Becomes an Obligation, Not an Option, at the Movies: Movies will need a "must-see" factor to get audiences to open their wallets in the coming year — and that factor might well be 3D. In 2009, the 3D movie is on course to have its first billion-dollar year at the box office.

A growing list of directors and producers are likely to create all future outputs in 3D — and some of the world’s leading directors are planning their first 3D movies. Yet the number of venues for 3D movies is still limited, with the expense of converting theaters potentially prohibitive in today’s economy. But the better 3D movies perform, the better the prospects for investment across a number of entertainment genres. This momentum may also force the industry to choose between the backing of super high definition or 3D, particularly in the short term. To be safe, 3D developers should also look at applications such as medicine, teaching and peer-to-peer communications.