The Year Ahead: The Rise Of Voice-Enabled News, Media Consolidation And More

Tue, December 31, 2019

The Year Ahead: The Rise Of Voice-Enabled News, Media Consolidation And More Adslot

Tue, December 31, 2019

As we usher in a new year and new decade, Publishers Daily asked leaders from across media, advertising and tech to tell us what they see on the horizon for 2020 and beyond. Here’s their predictions: David Cohn, senior director, The Alpha Group:

The New Era of Voice-Enabled News Consumption in 2020
Voice-enabled platforms, like Amazon Alexa, are becoming more widely adopted among consumers. According to research from, one in four consumers have access to a smart speaker today, meaning a 26.2% adoption rate across the U.S. alone. Within the next year, younger generations, including millennials and Gen Z, will turn to their smart speakers in greater numbers to get critical news updates.

As AI technology becomes more advanced, users will be able to ask voice-enabled platforms specific questions about the news of the day and receive contextual responses in real-time.

In 2020, beyond offering access to news outlets, like Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Newsy and NPR, voice-enabled smart speakers will create broader access to news stories from other reputable outlets, as well as niche news sites that cover particular topics, such as sports, beauty and/or fashion.

The expansion of niche markets, similar to the expansion of print lifestyle magazines, will increase the number of people in the United States that own a voice-enabled platform and the format in which they use it. More people will use voice search in their cars to listen to news stories and more news outlets will offer an option for readers to listen to the story instead of solely reading it on the site.

Charmagne Jacobs, VP/Head of Global Marketing and Partnerships, Adslot:

The Rise of SPO Will Force SSPs to Incorporate More Services to Stay Relevant

In 2019, header bidding created bid density and therefore, higher prices. And that, coupled with the shift to first price auctions, has left buyers feeling they’re paying too much for inventory via SSPs. Publishers, however, believe SSPs have increasingly catered to DSPs to ensure the demand — allowing optimizations that have resulted in bid-shading — which created downward pricing pressure on all.

This, plus the need to reduce the number of middlemen, which triggered safety and tech-fee concerns, has led to the rise of SPO. Now, smaller SSPs will get squeezed out and need to find other ways to stay relevant and provide value beyond yield management — possibly even serving as the data hub for buyers.

Mike Donoghue, CEO-founder, The Alpha Group:

Media Consolidation Will Continue in 2020 to Address Audience Gaps
Within the past year, over five major mergers and acquisitions have occurred in the media market, totaling over $810 million in estimated revenue from stock and cash exchanges. Within a two-month time frame, VICE Media acquired Refinery29, PopSugar was acquired by Group Nine, and Vox Media acquired New York Media, for an overall reported value of $805 million.

In 2020, media consolidation will continue, but on an even larger scale. Publishers and media companies will face increasing pressure to close audience gaps and scale their businesses to remain competitive. With further market consolidation, media companies will look to expand their offerings beyond traditional news reporting and explore other forms of content, including video series and live pop-up experiences.

Media companies will also be diversifying content offerings as a way to grow audiences, capture new revenue streams and capitalize on different advertising opportunities. In 2020, media mergers and acquisitions will not reach valuations as seen with recent tech M&A activity because buyers are looking to pay high valuations for companies that can show exponential growth percentages, as seen in the tech market.

Kerel Cooper, senior vice president, global marketing, LiveIntent:

2020 Will Be The Year the Tides Begin to Change for Publishers

The last few years have been a bloodbath for publishers as revenue decreased for them, while rising for Facebook and Google. However, publishers are finally embracing common cause and working together. The biggest example: Publishers are embracing the open source pre-bid auction clearinghouse. Previously, publishers had favored Google’s and Amazon’s solutions, both of which brought them diminished returns and handed power over to industry giants Amazon and Google.

Pre-bid won’t solve every problem for publishers, but it is a symbol that publishers are fighting back. Expect more consortiums and strategic data-sharing in order to mount a defense against the walled gardens.

Adam Solomon, CMO, Lotame:

No Publisher (Or Marketer) Is an Island

The most used word in 2020 will be “partnership.” Brands and publishers are starting to come around to the notion that no one can afford to be an island and expect to compete. Publishers will begin to see each other as collaborators, whose connected and combined datasets can generate a greater return for their clients and themselves.

The same will be true of brands and a growing openness to not just one partner but a range of partners that can collaborate and connect easily. One real example of this partnership-palooza will be a 360-view of the consumer. In order to achieve that holistic view, you need to work with others that can round out what you know about your customers and fill in the gaps of what you don’t, given business limitations or consumer relationships.

Article originally posted by Media Post.  Please click here to read the original article.