Predictions for 2007: Evolution and Acceleration

The gods don’t seem to want me to offer predictions for the coming year. 🙂 Twice I’ve written long posts in word docs only to loose them through crashes (my fault for not saving). Below is an abbreviated list of my originally much more elaborate one. But I’d like to hear what others think is going to happen or be significant.

My list (not in any order of importance):

Powerset et al: There will be several high-profile general search engine launches. By the end of the year none of them will register in the minds of general consumer-users.

Brands and online marketing: Brand advertising dollars move online “in earnest.” And brand marketers become much smarter about “integrated” online-offline media campaigns.

Yahoo!’s independence: Yahoo! is not bought by Microsoft or merged with AOL. If there is an announced acquisition (no earlier than Q4 ’07) it will be by AT&T. But let’s hope Yahoo! remains independent.

Local still a mess: Even as local search continues to gain more and more usage the fragmentation of both consumer traffic and advertising continues to obscure its real power and importance online.

Real-time offline inventory data: More offline store inventory data is integrated into the online database; comparison engines can no longer ignore this trend and start trying to integrate it themselves.

Online marketing adoption by small businesses: SMBs fully recognize the importance of online marketing and those not doing it start to feel serious anxiety.

User-generated content: The culture of user participation and content creation across the Internet puts a final stake in the heart of remaining doubt among pundits or brand advertisers regarding the permanence of this phenomenon.

User-generated commercials: In a variation on the theme above, user-generated commercials become mainstream and are broadcast widely on traditional TV.

Online video keeps rolling: Video continues to gain momentum with consumer-users, often at the expense of TV but monetization seriously lags consumer adoption. And consumers resist online video ads.

On-demand in demand: We get more Internet content onto TV and downloadable movies (onto TV) becomes a real thing.

Mobile gains steam: Mobile data adoption gains increasing traction and we start seeing some revenues from geotargeted advertising on mobile devices. We also see mobile-social networks gain a foothold and usage. But mobile TV, despite the hype, doesn’t really materialize as a mainstream phenomenon in ’07.

More newspaper pain but somebody figures “it” out: The print newspaper industry continues to feel the pain of flat-to-declining ad revenues, but online newspapers continue their gains. Newspapers abandon resistance to the mixing of editorial and user-generated content online. And this year somebody in newspapers cracks the code and creates a good user experience that can be emulated across the industry (to some degree). We may also see the emergence of a new, national newspaper ad network.

The mainstreaming of VoIP telephony: People become less afraid of VoIP but AT&T’s triple/quadruple play holds many back.

Traditional directory assistance on life support: Free DA (“mobile local search for the rest of us”) becomes a mainstream phenomenon and a viable ad vehicle for both national and local advertisers (via proxies). Traditional DA (user-pays) is now clearly on the way out.

Free WiFi adds more cities: The hotspot is on the way out.

Beyond my statements about Yahoo! above, I’ll refrain from predicting any deals. Undoubtedly there will be many.

What do you think?

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6 Responses to “Predictions for 2007: Evolution and Acceleration”

  1. howardowens.com: media blog » Blog Archive » Sterling’s 2007 predictions for online Says:

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