There are some big questions that need to be answered in 2020: are smart speakers going to finally disrupt the radio industry in a meaningful way? Once new Apple device owners are done with their 12-months complimentary Apple TV+ trial, how many are going to convert and become paid subscribers? How many paid streaming services can the Canadian market sustain? Is Facebook going to stick to its stance on political advertising? Is Netflix going to introduce an ad-supported subscription tier?
If it’s still too early to make predictions about these, there are some inevitable topics and and thought-provoking trends that are pretty safe to forecast.
More Streaming Services Will Result In The Rise Of Piracy
With the multiplication of streaming services comes the multiplication of original content which people will want to consume without having to subscribe to every streaming service available so piracy is bound to make a comeback.
This epiphenomenon is already apparent when looking at the most illegally downloaded tv shows of 2019 and it will only escalate to a situation similar that HBO’s Game of Thrones was in 2016 where customers justify piracy on the prohibitive cost of multi-service subscription. For streaming services solely relying on subscription it could be very costly as it’s already been reported that Netflix may be losing almost $200 million every month due to piracy.
Games Livestreaming Will Burst Its Bubble or Reach a Plateau
Gaming and eSports in particular are a billion dollar industry in which the valuation of teams can reach hundreds of millions and several teams passing the hundred millions mark; the year-over-year revenue increase of eSports’ revenue is impressive but experts are being cautious and expect a deceleration in growth to correct the market and avoid a crash.
This isn’t to say that the gaming audience isn’t bound to keep on growing; as the latest Game Awards, the brainchild of Canadian journalist Geoff Keighley, have demonstrated. The ceremony has become the most watched awards show on the planet and thus without the support of a single traditional broadcasting partner.
More People Will Stream The Olympics Than Watch Them On TV
The Summer Olympics are the most watched sporting event in the world so there’s no surprise if 85% of Canadians tune in to watch one or more of the events; however, a new trend has appeared in the last decade and it is Canadian viewers shifting their viewing habits to watch live events.
If you juxtapose these facts with the evolution in attitude towards sports in Canada; it will undoubtedly follow the trend of the 2016 Rio Summer games in which Canadian Olympics fans could watch every hour of every event live streamed as opposed to the very few number hours dedicated to traditional television by broadcasters to cover the entirety of the games.
Social Platforms Will Try To Pivot Engagement From Vanity Metrics To Meaningful And Personalized Connections
If 2019 was a year during which tech companies have spent a lot of time reflecting on studies linking social media usage to depression and trying to understand how the way their platforms work is affecting their users’ mental health, 2020 will be the year we will see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and the likes act on it.
In a recent TED Talk, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey explained that vanity metrics such as the follower counts and like buttons should be de-emphasized as they are not reflective of the quality of user engagement. This is a shared sentiment that can be echoed in Facebook-owned Instragam already testing removing likes in markets like Canada.
Increased Regulatory Scrutiny Of Tech And Media Companies Will Be A Hot Topic During The US Elections
Big tech and social media companies are now playing a major role in elections; this is why their influence has become a focus of US presidential hopefuls: from the underdog, Tulsi Gabbard, suing Google, to one of the DNC nomination front-runners, Elizabeth Warren planning on breaking up big tech companies, even the current President of the United States is actively working on regulating social platforms.
No matter the result of the upcoming US elections, its impact on social media will affect Canadian companies; the same way the European GDPR has done in 2018 and the same way COPPA just started affecting Canadian creators and brands posting their content on YouTube.