DigitalReport030507

VIDEO: Futurists Debate Digital's Emerging Trends

Mobile TV Is Overhyped but Video Search Is the Big Topic of '07

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mobile TV and viral marketing are overhyped -- and could MySpace really just disappear in 2007? Digital experts from across the media spectrum looked into their crystal balls and predicted what will drive, and will not, digital in 2007.

Gene Keenan, VP-mobile services at Isobar U.S., eschewed the idea that mobile TV would make it big, claiming that people really want a shared experience when they watch TV.

No shared experiences
"It's hard for people to have that shared experience if they see this cool clip of Bugs Bunny on their phone last night," said Mr. Keenan. "Their friends are just going to stare at you in the face and go, 'Oh that's cool dude.'"

And Lori Schwartz, senior VP-director of emerging media at Interpublic's Emerging Media Lab, thinks the terminology of viral marketing is overhyped. "It should go back to being a medical term," she said.

MySpace was the topic to jumpstart a heated debate. Diane Hessen, president-CEO of Communispace, said she believes MySpace is on the decline with its safety risks and the creation of smaller tight-knit communities on the internet.

Easy, anonymous and sketchy
"If you're planning on creating a MySpace page, it's easy to create. It's anonymous," Ms. Hessen said. "If kids are younger and get on to Facebook, they'll think MySpace is sketchy." But with millions of users, Mr. Keenan argued, MySpace is "too big to fade away."

At one point, Ms. Schwartz chimed in, "Why can't we all love each other?" To which moderator Mike Chapman, editorial director at eMarketer, quipped, "Drinks later?"

Curt Hecht, senior VP-chief digital officer for GM Planworks, jumped in with a topic everyone could agree on -- that search will continue to be important in 2007, especially video search. This is an area, he predicted, where new players could unseat the status quo of Google-Yahoo-MSN.

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