Media and Entertainment Predictions: What is in Store for 2013

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Friday, 04 January 2013

Ah, it is the start of a New Year. Time to wipe the slate clean and get focused on new goals and plans.

With this in mind, we thought we’d give you a glimpse into our 2013 crystal ball. After all it is impossible to make plans and resolutions that will stick if you don’t have a sense for what 2013 will likely bring…

We sat down and analysed the trends of 2012, the growths and slumps, the booms and the busts – and have put together a rather short but important list of what we believe will be key factors in 2013 for the media and entertainment niche:

  • Paywall Proliferation
  • Mobile Mania

Paywall Proliferation

In 2012 we saw a record number of newspapers and media companies make the move to adopting paywalls and subscription-based models. What was once believed to be a sure fire way to drive away readers has since shown to be one of the best ways for newspapers and other media outlets to create a consistent revenue stream.

We wrote about paywalls extensively in 2012 and time and time again our analysis demonstrated that the intelligent use of paywalls often takes newspapers, magazines and other online media sources from dwindling readership to an increase in at-home delivery and a boom in online readership.

2013 looks to be an even stronger year for paywall and subscription-based content systems. Consumers no longer find it strange to be prompted to register and sign up for access to premium content or full access to their favourite daily newspaper.

Part of the reason for this shift in acceptance of paying for access to content (which we once assumed would always be free) can be based on the change in how we are educated and entertained. More of us are disconnecting our cable television, ending our traditional magazine subscriptions and no longer visiting the library. Instead we’re accessing only the television programmes we want (often commercial-free) through an on-demand television service such as Netflix, we’re reading select articles from our favourite magazines thanks to a premium digital subscription plan that allows us to choose the articles that are delivered to our mobile device, and when it comes to reading – we rely on our WiFi-enabled ereaders to give us immediate access to bestseller lists and online retailers.

2012 demonstrated that we’re willing to pay for what we want. 2013 will reinforce the paywall and subscription-based models – giving many media and entertainment companies a consistent revenue stream thereby allowing them to provide better and stronger content.

Mobile Mania

iPhone. Android device. iPad mini. Surface. Kindle. Galaxy.

Just a brief summary of the brands and products that became common place in 2012. Chances are very high you know someone who received a new smartphone or other mobile device as a Christmas present. Chances are even higher that you know someone who bought such a device during the Boxing Week sales.

Mobile is where it’s at and this is evident by a quick glance at the focus of many technology and media companies. Have you got skills in iOS development, Android development, web writing, social media marketing or mobile app product management? Anyone with one or more of these skills is on the “most wanted” new employee list.

Companies in every industry have recognised how important it is to be available to consumers via a mobile device. While this was primarily the domain of media and entertainment companies, we’re now seeing product and service driven companies shifting focus to reaching us through mobile apps.

Along with this focus on mobile app development we’re also seeing more free WiFi zones, more magazines and books moving to digital-only models, and media companies providing a full spectrum suite of products – television, Internet, and mobile (think of Netflix).

2012 saw a rise in smartphones, tablets, and mobile app development. 2013 will highlight how important it is to longevity and success to have some kind of mobile product – be this a news app that allows readers to get the latest news on-demand, a game that allows players to earn reward points for an online store, or a mobile-only magazine that includes embedded video and the ability to interact with writers and content producers.

What Does This Really Mean for 2013?

To be blunt – make sure you’re delivering good content. Paywalls, subscription-based content, mobile apps, fancy websites, and on-demand video all rely on one key component: content.

To be truly successful in 2013, media and entertainment companies must remember what they first built their businesses on: innovative content that no one else was writing, producing and delivering.

At the end of the year, content will be driving the success of paywalls, mobile apps, and the media industry. Don’t forget that behind the fancy mobile app, innovative subscription model and access-anywhere-at-anytime delivery model – you must give the consumer what they want – proven and reliable content.

Content truly will be king for 2013.