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Key Tech Trends for Marketers & Advertisers


Rick Kowalski, Sr. Manager, Industry Analysis and Business Intelligence, Consumer Technology Association

The ever-changing consumer technology landscape is disrupting how marketers reach the eyes and ears of their target audiences. Consumers are finding entertainment on a growing variety of devices and platforms, which has made it challenging for marketers to promote their brands.

With a unique perspective on advertising opportunities, MediaLink identified 8 key points that marketers can take away from CTA’s semiannual U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report. Here are a few of the trends to watch:

Video distribution disrupted

An increasing number of people are bypassing the traditional TV set-top box, instead choosing to access video through devices they already own. These cord cutters are watching content on laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles, smart TVs and streaming media players of all shapes and sizes. The number of video streaming devices shipping to the U.S is expected to reach 78.5 million in 2019.

Across all these devices, video streaming services have become the main method of accessing quality video content. CTA expects consumer spending on subscription video streaming services to reach $18.2 billion in 2019, a 27 percent increase over 2018.

There are many video platforms to choose from, which gives marketers options on where to focus their efforts. However, managing ad campaigns across a multitude of services could make things more complicated.

Live streaming is on the rise

Until recently, streaming services have offered limited or no live TV programming at all. This made it difficult for some pay-TV subscribers to justify cutting the cord. In the past year, several live TV streaming services hit the market at competitive prices, meaning that cord cutters don’t have to miss out on sports and news programming.

At this point, people who aren’t subscribing to streaming services might fear that they are missing out. Exclusive content and 4K programming have become part of the competitive strategy for video streaming providers.

Voice is coming to all your devices

Smart speakers have reshaped the audio industry. People can now tap into the intelligence of digital assistants and benefit from ubiquitous connectivity by simply speaking to their devices. While voice interaction is most popular on smart speakers, digital assistants are being incorporated into numerous products, which means that marketers will need to figure out how to be discovered in new ways.

Music streaming services have recently become one of the most popular channels for people to access their favorite audio content. In 2019, consumers are expected to spend $7.7 billion on these services, up 22 percent over 2018. With tens of millions of subscribers, there is ample opportunity for programmatic audio advertising on these platforms.

Smart audio is also enabling the voice-enabled shopping cart. According to CTA’s Voice Shopping: Consumer Sentiment & Use Study, 28.7 million U.S. adults have shopped using a voice-activated digital assistant in the past year. With millions of people searching for products verbally, marketers must optimize their strategies for the habits of these new shoppers.

These are just a few of the entertainment trends that CTA and MediaLink continue to follow.  To learn more about how marketers can leverage changes in the consumer tech industry, check out 8 Marketer Takeaways From CTA’s 2019 U.S. Consumer Technology Sales And Forecast Report.

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