Our predictions for 2018

With 2017 swiftly coming to an end we turn our attention to the year ahead. Our office has dusted off the old crystal ball and had a go at being fortune tellers. Will Alana win the $30m in the lotto like she anticipated for this year? Will the office Fiddle Fig Leaf live to see another Christmas? Answers we all wish we knew yet cannot foresee, however there are some predictions greater rooted in trends and statistics that we can more accurately forecast.

 

Prominence of voice search

With the introduction of Amazon to Australia it will be interesting to see if sales of their voice search service Echo will increase. 2017 saw a plastering of Google Home ads over TV, print, digital and affiliation programs, introducing us to how voice search devices can be integrated into our homes and everyday lives. Apple is about to drop their HomePod, adding a third giant to the mix of platforms available.

 

With the trend towards voice search increasing radically, the question for both advertisers and the search engines is how results are prioritised – will organic or paid results be ranked higher? This will dramatically affect digital budgets allocated to SEM or SEO. A good one to keep an eye on if your customers are in line with new technological trends.

 

Pay to play in the digital world

It’s a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to prime digital real estate – and people are willing to pay the price. Gone are the days where you could release content and hope for the best. If you’re involved in the digital landscape you’ve probably noticed the ever-changing algorithms and how difficult it can be to break through the clutter – and it’s about to get tougher. Digital display is predicted to get more expensive with premium platforms becoming more brutal when it comes to creative.

 

We predict that magic formula to reaching digital audiences will be carefully selected audience groups, the right platforms, and compelling creative will be crucial in getting your message across.

 

Radio

Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner has forecast that ‘As we reach peak screen use, brands are actively exploring other ways to reach consumers and audio is coming to the fore. Her comment speaks to the increasing concern that the digital bubble is close to bursting.

With screen capability close to exhaustion will business turn to radio to get their message across? We think this is possible – but perhaps not in the way we all know radio. Streaming music services have been on the rise in Australia, but let’s not forget about Pandora’s exit from Australia this year, along with a string of other music streaming services.

 

The question we ask is ‘will the audience in 2018 shun giants Spotify and Apple Music too?’. With current trends, it’s more likely that Apple Music will disappear before Spotify – and that’s a good thing for advertisers. There 80 million global active Spotify users that do not pay for the service – meaning there’s 80 million pairs of ears listening in to ads through the service. With advertisers looking for new spaces to advertise it could be Spotify’s real time to shine.

 

And don’t get us started on Podcasts! Stations have slowly crept onto this medium however with so much variety, content creators have their work cut out for them. We predict Podcasts are going to become THE place to advertise for brand awareness as the nature of podcasts inspire longevity.

 

TV

We’ve heard all throughout 2017 that TV is trucking along steadily – but not in the sense that we are all familiar with. Streaming and playback TV are making up for the shortfalls in free to air TV, as we explored in this blog. Streaming service giant Netflix has been increasing worldwide subscribers steadily since its inception with a huge focus on original content for the new year.

 

Unfortunately for smaller advertisers, Netflix does not display ads, making up their profits in product placement in their original content. With a projected $7bn - $8bn spend for new content in 2018 Netflix have raised 1.6 billion dollars in debt. The streaming service have previously stated that they have no intention of using an advertising model, but with increasing debt will this model switch? We don’t think it’s likely to happen in 2018, but watch this space.

 

And those are our main predictions for 2018! Agree, disagree? Comment below with your forecast for the new year.