Capitalising on the digital age


Research, conducted by The Future Laboratory and involving a global panel of experts, highlights the impact of digitally augmented reality, contextual branding and emotional engagement on media and telecoms firms’ business models

Oracle, in partnership with future trends consultancy, The Future Laboratory, launched a study on 10 November, Capitalising on the Digital Age, which examines how changes in consumer behaviour wrought by the digital world will present telecommunications and media companies with fresh challenges.

The Future Laboratory recruited a panel of global experts, including Martin Lindstrom (author of Buyology), Hugh Garry (BBC Radio 1 Interactive), and Anders Sandberg (Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford), to consider how current and emerging social, cultural, economic and technological forces would impact on the future business models of media and telecommunications companies.

The panel assessed influences such as the rise of “freemium’ services, the increasing professionalism of the creative consumer and technological advances such as semantic search of film and video to build a picture of consumers’ media consumption in the next five to ten years.

Among the phenomena predicted in Capitalising on the Digital Age are:
– Digitally augmented reality – Video visors and ultimately contact lenses will digitally enhance everyday life into a three-dimensional wrap-around immersive experience.

–  Contextual branding – Predictive and geospatial software will enable brands to target consumer whims through contextual branding. Current advertising formats and models will become increasingly redundant.

“Supertising’ – As multi-screens allow different members of a household to watch diverse content at the same times, ad profiling will be tailored to the individual.Emotional profiling – Emotional engagement and depth of connection will replace eyeballs as the dominant media trading currency.

-Privacy for sale – Consumers will come to realise how important their personal data is to companies wishing to provide them with a world of tailored, immersive entertainment.

“Crowd-charging’ – Crowd-sourcing, already being used in development and marketing efforts, could also change revenue models with companies charging contributors for the privilege of participating in the creative process.Recommendation culture – The digital future will not mean tuning into a particular TV channel; there will be a service that allows you to navigate the plethora of choice, recommending what you would want to consume.
The Future Laboratory identified a number of strategies that media firms should consider in response to changing market conditions and consumer preferences to ready themselves for the future:

–  Build and maintain customer trust – Trust will be the most important aspect of a brand, the key to gaining access to more profitable relationships with customers and competitive differentiation.Users will need to feel comfortable enough to enter the new type of relationship needed for personal, contextualised experiences.

–  Become the recommender – The company that consumers turn to when navigating a bewildering sea of choice will be well placed to profit.

–  Prepare for new revenue models – Rather than focusing on the main item, companies will increasingly concentrate on the value of add-ons, customisation or personalisation.

–  Smarter billing systems – Media companies will need to adapt to changing revenue models and cater for micropayments and assigning money to multiple pots for third-party partnerships.

–  Become the orchestrator – In the long run, digital media will be characterised by alliances and partnerships between specialist providers.As companies jostle for their position in the partnerships that will offer the seamless digital experience, the prize role will go to the company that occupies the centre ground, the “Orchestrator of the Dance’.


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