Year of the paywall? 13 predictions for 2013
Media & Marketing:New year, new opportunities to get everything completely wrong. It’s going to be just like 2012, only with more awkward apologies, more value-for-money clarifications and more glorious conspiracies. You’ll notice the words “more money” didn’t appear in that sentence, but some of us do still live in hope.
Here are my 13 rock-solid predictions for 2013:
1 RTÉ’s blueprint for the future won’t go far enough for its rivals and enemies.
RTÉ is “on track” to shortly deliver its five-year strategy as part of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s funding review. Of course, it won’t go far enough for rivals who lobby for their best chance of survival. RTÉ’s enemies, an overlapping but separate category against the concept of public service media, won’t be happy unless Montrose is flattened.
2 The cyberbullying committee will be drowned out by the backlash to the social media backlash.
Over Christmas, it was announced that an Oireachtas committee chaired by Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes will hold hearings on the issue of anonymous abuse delivered via social media. Anyone suggesting China-like clampdowns on freedom of speech can expect heaps of non-anonymous abuse.
3 Digital and print will merge further.
Again, I’m playing safe here, as this is less a prediction and more an outline of my own near future. Irishtimes.comis getting a new content management system soon. The existing one is a decade old and doesn’t “talk” to the print-publishing platform. For business journalists, this lack of systems harmony has manifested as the curious online disappearance of ampersands. 2013 will be the year we get our ampersands back. Oh yes, and there will be a brand new redesigned website.
4 Evening newspapers will come under big pressure.
Even if Thomas Crosbie Holdings and Independent News Media weren’t in cost-cutting mode, the rationale for running stand-alone newsdesks at their respective evening titles, the Evening Echo and the Evening Herald, is unclear in the mobile era.
5 Convergence on the “first” screen, and,
6 more imaginative use of the “second”.
UPC will launch its Horizon box in Ireland, allowing viewers to synchronise their TV sets with their smartphones and tablets – the Dutch version includes a selection of apps from news providers. “Second screens” are not just for moaning about TV’s minor imperfections, meanwhile. Advertisers will build on greater ambitions, from Shazam-prompted click-to-buy offers to gaming-style interactivity. Don’t just watch that car advertisement, use the steering wheel on your iPad to drive along those open roads.
7 A merciful end to first-person advertising.
“I am the new Nikon One. I know I look like a camera, but I’m different” and all personification of inanimate objects in marketing must end. Wishful thinking, this one.