It's past 11pm on the new year's eve and it's my last chance to make a contribution to the wide array of predictions for 2005. I'm bad at predicting stuff, though. After all, I was convinced Kerry would win and the Sox would lose. So, I'm hedging my bets; what follows is a set of predictions for the advertising tech of 2005 if everything works out, but consider it a wish list if things go wrong.
1. If Firefox gains momentum, we will see some new online advertising formats, driven in part by the browser's powerful popup (plus animations and flash) blocker and in part by some of the browser's emerging extensions, such as the one that allows users to annotate online text and share the notes with others.
2. In-game advertising will be "the next big thing" if the current players, inGamePartners and Massive, manage to avoid some dangerous pitfalls. If they do and if advertising becomes an important revenue stream for the publishers, new game genres and formats will evolve to accommodate advertisers' needs.
3. Secondary content filters will continue to rise in dominance. The saying used to be "if it's not in the evening news, it never happened". Now, it is "if it wasn't picked up by my aggregator, then it hasn't been published or aired and hence it never happened." Drudge, Google News and RSS aggregators will be joined by audio (iPodder) and video aggregators.
4. The radio landscape goes crazy. The rumour is iPod or a similar device will eventually add sattelite reception. The rise of podcasting is already being documented. The spread of WiFi will enable internet radio broadcasts to PDAs. The war between the three formats will be fun to watch.
5. Mobile video will finally happen. Some say it will be on cellphones, others bet on a video-enabled iPod. My bet: a portable Media Center device that lets you watch the stuff you DVRed the night before; the value is apparent and the piracy-related concerns are non-existent.
(oh, wait, isn't Zen Portable Media Player just that?)
6. On a related note, TiVo will have to do something to stay in the game: cut subscription fees, sell out, come up with new features, or start offering a mobile video device.
7. Real time is out, time delay is in when it comes to content distribution - DVRs and podcasting set the pace. The media space is "a la carte" and on demand.
8. We will see an even tighter integration of content and advertising, and not only on TV; new battlegrounds include computer and video games, blogs and RSS feeds, on-demand radio and video.
9. Context and search-related advertising will grow along with the amount and variety of digitalized content. Video, sound and print all become fully searchable.
10. The rewired retail space will offer some amazing opportunities for POP work. Some of the good things to come are RFID tags, smart shopping carts and digital shelftalkers, electronic paper.