January 7, 2008

No crystal ball for 2008

I'm fresh out of a recording session of the podcast What's Next. The show was all about "What is going to happen in 2008?". One of the things I'm not completely at ease with is that I held the directly opposite opinion of Nikolaj Nyholm on one occasion. That is not something a plan making a habit. Even though I think it was called for this time. ;)

Below are my notes on six themes I think will be important in 2008. Not among my notes, even though I think a lot will happen in the area in 2008, is Internet in the pocket, mobile Internet, Internet in the mobile or whatever you choose to name it. Big in early adopter circles, absolutely. But I think it is likely we will be drifting into 2009 before there is a big bang.

- Flash 9 "Moviestar", with H.264 encoding, will make online video more attractive and will lead to publishers stop using WMA/QT and make life really difficult for Joost.
- Better advertising targeting (interest/behavioral/contextual) makes remnant inventory more valuable and adds significant revenue to communities, social networks and other non-premium media. For premium media sites advertising revenue will increase as advertising spending shifts online, but it will be sold based on demographics like in offline media.
- Social Graph turns out to be more buzz than biz in 2008. Facebook will gain no major advertising advantage from knowing who knows who, but will use its internal interest-based targeting advertising system with quite some success.
- Google will still, deservedly, be king.
- Search traffic, Web 2.0 features and web analytics will make non-hyped e-commerce companies increase sales and margins in 2008. I.e. companies will be driven as much by increased 'marketing productivity' as market growth. This is an area where there will be a lot of money.
- Spotify. If Spotify gets the label deals, it is going to be big.

Update Dec 20th 2008: Report card.

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