Three Trends That Will Shape Digital in 2008

The Big Picture: Customers, Consumers and Content

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The new year is when people like to make predictions. However, I find it more valuable to look at the bigger picture -- the trends that will play a role in shaping digital media and marketing over the next 12 months.


MEDIA-ADVERTISER COOPETITION

Conventional wisdom says never compete with your biggest customers. But that's exactly what's happening in the ever-changing dynamic between advertisers and media partners. Thanks to the web, brands are becoming their own media companies, vying for the same constricting field of attention the media long have dominated. This will force the media giants to increasingly become launch pads for advertiser-created content even as they carefully navigate the resulting Chinese-wall issues.
Steve Rubel
Photo: JC Bourcart
Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP in Edelman's Me2Revolution practice.


LIVING ROOM 2.0

For many, the living room is no longer the hub of a household. We spend more time today in front of computers tucked away in bedrooms and home offices than we do gathered around a single TV. That said, the living room is slowly undergoing a revival as consumers buy HDTVs. Early adopters are adding Windows Media Center PCs or Mac Minis to their home theaters so they can view photos in glorious hi-def.

Mainstream consumers are not there yet. However, they will join the geeks as the technology gets easier to use and connectivity finds its way into existing devices, including TV, digital cable boxes, TiVo, Xbox 360 and Wii. All of this will make the living room a place where families gather again, particularly as TVs connect to social networks.


CURATORS COLLECT AND CONNECT

During the past 10 years, content has become a commodity. So has data. Information overload makes it difficult for anyone to separate essential air from smog. Search engines don't really help -- it's hard even for them to separate gems from junk.

Enter curators. Brands, media and consumers who relish information will prosper by aggregating mountains of information and distilling those down to their most essential parts.
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