Media Companies Must Watch These Three Digital Trends in 2022

The media industry has always been driven by technology. From the Gutenberg press to digital newspapers, publishers have had to adapt to the changing habits of their consumers. Today is no different, and three powerful digital technologies are expected to come into their own this year. Read on to find out what digital trends you can expect media companies to implement in 2022.

  1. Artificial intelligence

The media industry is transitioning away from the use of machine learning tasks that improve speed and precision through automation, such as programmatic advertising or automated design. Artificial intelligence (AI) is more intuitive and more closely mimics human behavior and decision-making.

AI has been successfully used by streaming services like Netflix for recommendation purposes. Going forward, this action will become increasingly personalized, with trailer contents dictated by the elements viewers are most drawn to. Additionally, voice recognition algorithms will allow users to engage with services using speech, as voice is swiftly becoming the preferred mode of engagement with media services.

But media companies will also increasingly use AI in production, cataloging, and media management. Cataloging and metadata detection tools allow for real-time cataloging of news items and assist with improved search functionality. Specific segment retrieval, which previously involved human intervention, can be automated with much better results. These steps make it easier to monetize existing content without having to create or edit new material. Plus, audio-to-text processing, automatic language analysis, translation, and speech-to-text functionalities will ensure content is available to many more markets through automated subtitling and caption generation.

AI will also soon be moderating content, potentially on a personalized basis. Readers may even hear their music preferences reflected in bespoke backing tracks based on their listening behavior. And on top of recommendations for better search engine optimization, AI could be creating content from scratch, matching the unique writing styles of individual authors.

  1. The Metaverse

When the COVID-19 pandemic kept people all over the world locked in their homes, virtual events, performances, and shows helped keep them entertained and connected, while its monetization helped keep the entertainment industry employed. Now referred to as the Metaverse, this shared, immersive digital ecosystem utilizing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies is one of the fastest-growing trends in the digital economy. In the future, in addition to being entertained, we will be increasingly socializing and working in interconnected digital environments.

While streaming services like Hulu and Disney+ allow groups of friends to share movie times regardless of their physical location, the Metaverse will create entirely new forms of entertainment. For example, Disney plans to make its next theme park virtual and hosted in the Metaverse.

Meanwhile, gaming company Roblox focuses on bringing notable brands on board to engage with its diverse and active digital-experience client base. For example, last year, it partnered with fashion house Gucci to virtually reproduce the Gucci Garden in Florence. In it, players can assume mannequin avatars to try on virtual Gucci merchandise, which they can then buy. It is also working with Nike to create Nikeland, a virtual collection of arenas, fields, and courts for gameplay and product showrooms.

Taking their cue from the gaming companies, media and communication application firms are taking the Metaverse seriously in 2022. In addition to adding themes to their social media channels, they’ll be spending money improving data centers and investing in VR/AR tech to hold onto their brands.

  1. Blockchain Technology

A blockchain is a distributed ledger that keeps records secured by cryptography on peer-to-peer networks. The transactions are visible to every participant, and the technology does away with the need for a centralized authority for verification. To date, we’ve mostly seen them used to sell digital artwork, but media companies are interested in their ability to manage intellectual property and sell content. Cable networks and streaming services like Netflix rely on a centralized content distribution model, but blockchain offers the potential to cut out the middle man and democratize content.

Blockchain technology can directly connect viewers with content creators and advertisers and allow viewers to control what information they choose to share. Using blockchain’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs), they could pay content creators directly for individual goods and services instead of paying a monthly subscription, the current preferred billing model of streaming services. Providers and brands could invoke NFTs to reward viewers for loyalty or specific actions or engagement, enabling viewers to access more content or goods. For example, Dan Harmon’s new show, Krapopolis, will be curated entirely on blockchain and have its own marketplace for trading NFTs based on the show. Additionally, peer-to-peer streaming services enable content creation and sharing at vastly reduced costs, allowing anyone to produce and distribute content.

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David Geithner

David Geithner

David Geithner is a senior finance executive who draws upon nearly three decades of experience to serve as EVP and COO, IMG Events and On Location.