The Emerging Digital Media Landscape

Not long ago, I flew all over the place, talking to people about digital media trends. I spoke at the Kagan Digital Media Summit in Las Vegas about TV advertising’s future. I spoke on a panel about mobile advertising’s future at the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association’s monthly Lunchbyte.

I also spoke to an agency summit in Barcelona, Spain, about emerging technology opportunities for advertising through Microsoft products. And I spoke at the MIXX conference in New York City about the effects of user-generated content and mobile technologies on the future of advertising.

I had a ton of fun, learned a lot, and managed to keep my family from rebelling at my absence. But the agendas were set by someone else, so let me tell you what I see coming in digital media.

Web Media

“Standard” Web media is maturing. The Web experience will become less cluttered and simpler. Web applications will become more open and will be designed using AJAX (define) technologies to make them function much more like installed applications.

Ad products will have a broad range of technologies advertisers can take advantage of, including tools such as RSS (define), XML (define), and AJAX. Your creative team will be able to use amazing tools to build advertising that feels different from anything done before.

Television

TV will ultimately be on-demand all the time. Broadcast TV will eventually be phased out. Whether this takes 3, 5, or 10 years is beside the point. TV is better experienced on-demand.

Advertising will have to evolve in this new world. On-demand will lead to more, not less, TV revenue. New technologies around targeting and long-form advertising will drive this growth.

Mobile

Most people believe mobile will enable us to advertise in three areas: WAP (define) pages, SMS (define) type technologies, and installed applications. In all three, we’ll see immense growth in advertising as more traffic is generated in all these areas. We’re already seeing very high CPMs (define) in the mobile space, as well as high response rates and, from what I’ve been told, great ROI (define).

We’ll also see growth in music advertising (such as radio) in the mobile space. This will be more from mobile phones with integrated music players (many units do this already, though the public hasn’t yet figured it out) than from iPods becoming phones.

In-Game Advertising

This space will explode in the next 10 years. What we currently see in the in-game space isn’t where things will end up. There’ll be massive changes in the way we interface with each other in 3-D worlds. Marketers will break all sorts of new ground around how to take advantage of this.

As the advertising industry expands into all these new emerging media, we’ll see significant new opportunities for customer engagement. Agencies and marketers must learn about all these new technologies. They’ll radically change the way we touch consumers. Changes are coming soon.

Eric is off this week. Today’s column ran earlier on ClickZ.

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