Five trends that will shape media in 2021
From streaming giants consolidating their positions to the influence of gaming and the growth of contextual advertising, Marketing Week picks the media trends that will shape the year.
1. Streaming services are consolidating their strength – and advertisers need strategies
An inevitable outcome of 2020’s pandemic has been consumers spending a lot more time at home – and investing in their home entertainment technology accordingly. In 2021 the leading TV streaming services look set to consolidate their positions of strength still further, with investment and expansion after a year of accelerated growth.
Last month, Disney announced that it had signed up 86.8 million subscribers, exceeding its “wildest expectations” according to CEO Bob Chapek. Together with subscribers to its Hulu and ESPN brands, Disney is predicting that its subscriber numbers could be over 300 million by 2024. The entertainment giant will now be launching new films directly onto Disney+, skipping a traditional cinema release.
Netflix, the world’s biggest streaming brand with 195 million subscribers, also benefitted from lockdown subscriber growth, although forecasts suggest that Disney could catch it by 2022.
The changing TV market could prove a challenge to advertisers. Global president of business intelligence at GroupM, Brian Wieser, says the vast bulk of investment by streaming services is on content that is not supported by ads.
“There’s no meaningful amount of [ad] spending coming into these services. There is a direct relation between spending on content and viewing share. And all of the spending weight is on non ad-supported content,” he notes.