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What’s in store for Media in 2020

When the Federal Government shook up media ownership laws in 2017, it was flagged as an attempt to protect Australia media companies from global media superpowers like Facebook and Google. Fast forward to 2019, and traditional media in Australia is still doing it tough. Multi-national digital players are continuing to grow their share of audiences and advertising budgets, and there’s no sign of that slowing.

Australians have never had a greater choice of media to consume and as a result, competition for our eyes and ears is heating up. So, what’s on the horizon for Australian media in 2020? Here’s ten media trends for 2020.

  1. Paywalls will become the norm. While many Australians grumble about having news content hidden behind paywalls, I’m predicting we’ll become more accepting of the concept. We’re comfortable paying for music and video streaming and will also need to accept that we need to pay for quality news content.
  2. The Sunrise and Today ratings battle will heat up. With prodigal son Karl Stefanovic returning to Today in 2020, Nine will be throwing the kitchen sink at the show to ensure it makes up ground on bitter rival Sunrise.
  3. More advertorial content across all platforms. As traditional media’s share of the advertising pie shrinks, the need for them to be creative with clients is becoming an imperative. Look for more print, online, radio and TV advertorial partnerships and content in 2020.
  4. Online TV stations set for growth. As traditional TV reins in costs, channels like Ticker TV and ausbiztv will fill the void left by Your Money and Sky Business.Watch out for other new niche players as the barriers and costs involved in internet broadcasting come down significantly.
  5. A greater focus on personally curated content. More and more, we’re expecting our online experience to be seamless and that will include our news consumption. AI will enable news platforms to curate a feed of news stories that will suit our location and personal tastes.
  6. Olympic broadcasts will set new benchmarks for sport coverage. Expect the host Olympic broadcaster, NHK to blow your mind with Super 8K – 16 times sharper than high definition televisions and microphones that can zoom in on sound anywhere in the stadium.
  7. Media will work harder to counter the “fake news” narrative. Consumers still have serious trust issues with traditional media and while the ABC remains our most trusted and ethical media platforms, all media will need to work harder to build greater trust and transparency with their audiences, particularly their paying customers.
  8. More family-friendly TV shows. Nine’s LEGO Masters was the surprise hit of 2019 and is set to return in 2020. Don’t be surprised if we see more family friendly programming come our way next year.
  9. More jobs will go. The CEOs of Australia’s biggest media companies have already forecast a tough year ahead and unless the economy improves significantly, I would expect to see further newsroom job losses. Magazines in Australia might also see some rationalisation, in view of the recent Seven West Media – Bauer Media deal.
  10. Social Media will continue to evolve.  While the major platforms continue to grow, I’m predicting the privacy backlash against Facebook will heighten and as a result, new players will attempt to enter the market.

By John Solvander, Director of Media Engagement, Media Stable.

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