Predictions for 2005, Part I

Below are some of the most interesting predictions for 2005 offered by bloggers and mainstream pundits in the wake of the new year. Some seem obvious (internet will be hot), others - very much not so (email usage will decline), but each of these prophecies, if fulfilled, has the power to re-shape the way a brand message is delivered to its target.

10. The Internet Will Be Hot Again
This has certainly been a growth year for internet advertising. Ad spending rose 10.3% to $102.4 billion through September, and spending on the Internet was up 25.8%, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. The heated political season certainly helped by demonstrating that there is a lot of money to be had through this channel. Non-traditional campaigns such as and fuel the fire. The winners will be those who can leverage the internet in more subtle ways that work in conjuntion with other channel efforts such as retail and loyalty.

9. DVR, The Fate of TiVo and Consumer Backlash
Something major will finally happen at Tivo. We all hope that it's a sale to Apple, but if it is a sale, it will more likely be to Comcast or DirecTv.

The penetration of subscription-model DVRs will become significant enough to cause even more worry for the broadcast advertising model. The consumer offering will change. Either commercial-skipping will be altered in some way or the subscription-based models will begin inserting advertising. In either case, consumers will revolt. The alternative will be DVRs that can be purchased outright by the consumer without subscription fees. Some of these DVRs will be PC based. Others will simply be big hard drives in a box. TiVo and DVRs from the cable company will start to die a slow death, and pay-once, no subscription boxes will begin to flourish. Consumers will aim to consume television and radio the way they want to, without advertising, without monthly fees, and most importantly, without the DVR companies changing models on them.

8.The Rise of The Video Phone
I predict that the video phone will do very well in the business community in 2005. You'll see more video phones sitting on conference tables and executive desks when you visit companies next year. However, it will still be several years before consumers feel comfortable with having a video phone at home. It's not that the technology isn't ready; the consumer isn't.

7. iPod Everything
All year, Apple will be rumored to launch a video iPod, but it won't - it's still too early. By the end of 2005, we will just be starting to see traction in the video over IP market and its connection to search.

Sirius and/or XM will see an opportunity in the number of people running around with iPods and other such devices. I predict a convergence of satellite and digital audio - perhaps a plug-in device for the iPod that lets users tune in to satellite radio channels.

6. Wireless Nation
"2005 should see the introduction by Microsoft (and maybe Apple) of the wireless entertainment manager – watch your favorite movie, listen to your favorite tune broadcast to your TV and HiFi over radiowaves. Wireless provides the more opportuity than just looking up web pages and check email. The services available via the web will become available via wireless. Soon we will start to make free internet calls using our WiFi enabled cell phones – avoiding roaming charges."

5. Videos, photos and music on your cell phone.
The third-generation (3G) cellular networks rapidly spreading across Asia and Western Europe are turning telecoms in the United States green with envy as they watch a multibillion-dollar business of peddling phones that can stream video and download data pass them by.

4. PDAs will become passe.
Disconnected ones, that is. Over time, the real action will be moving core PDA functionality, centered on personal information management, to other devices such as cell phones. This will cause major IT headaches, since few cell phones are controlled by IT these days.

3. Internet Radio Goes Mainstream
A combination of familiar measurement models, increased consumption and an advertiser need to beef up the audience they reach with 30 seconds and 60 seconds on radio will make this the breakout year for Internet radio. Clients will look to supplement their terrestrial radio buys and Internet radio will be part of the solution.

2. Bye-Bye, VHS
All companies stop producing VCRs (a process begun this year) and Fuji, Maxwell, and others cease production of VHS tapes. VHS-C is next, promise experts.
--PC Magazine

1. Decline of Email
In 2004 we saw clear signs that the well documented problems of email may lead to its decline. IM, text messaging, RSS, P2P, blogging, wireless and other communications methods today provide real and plentiful alternatives to email for both the consumer and business. Unless providers can stop the rot soon, 2005 might make some commentators gasp at the speed of its decline.

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