2012 Top Media Trends, Report


50 percent increase in online branding to become a US$20 billion industry

Remarkable growth in digital advertising in Middle East in 2012

Deloitte’s annual predictions report on the top global media trends for 2012, was revealed in the Middle East at this year’s Qatar ICT Conference & Exhibition (QITCOM).

One of the main forecasts of the 2012 report states that the traditional advertising sector will grow only 5 per cent, while online branding will increase by 50 percent to an estimated US$20 billion, as more companies look to digital to build the long-term value for their brands.

“There is a lack of audience measurement systems in the Middle East that, as in other markets, allow advertisers to assess the reach and impact of their advertisements through traditional mediums. Digital platforms on the other hand, offer a more quantifiable return on investment,” said Santino Saguto, partner in charge for the Telecommunications, Media and Technology industry, Deloitte Middle East. “The digital advertising market in the region is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years due to emerging digital platforms, representing then a big opportunity for advertisers and overall industry development” he added.

The 2012 media predictions suggest that more sophisticated methods for measuring the success of online branding campaigns – such as Real Time Bidding which allows companies to specify exactly where and in what context their ads will appear – have transformed digital marketing campaigns from its humble beginnings of banner ads. Advertisers have also increasingly turned their efforts to tailoring adverts specifically for the online world via videos and social media campaigns although companies will need to develop new skills as the prominence of digital branding increases.

Other Deloitte 2012 media predictions include:

All aboard for the catch-up commuter thanks to the portable DVR

Smartphone and tablet owners will watch five billion hours of catch-up television content on their devices while on public transport in 2012, as the age of the “catch-up commuter” starts to take off. The 2012 Deloitte media predictions indicate that there are, however, technological challenges related to recording content onto phones and televisions and the legality of doing so it not always clear. However the surge in tablet and smartphones sale – with half a billion expected to be in people’s hands by the end of the year – will drive the market. The catch up commuter represents an opportunity not a threat to content producers as it means people will watch more television. However it represents a threat to the publishers of free newspapers and portable video games consoles.

Extracting the premium from social games

With the growth of social networks and the popularity of social gaming taking off in 2010 and 2011, the  media predictions indicate that the financial potential of ‘social gaming’ has been drawn to the public’s attention. However companies need to evolve away from the ‘freemium’ model that has propelled them into the spotlight to take a greater portion of the US$63 billion global games market from 2 per cent this year.

Online coupon intermediaries: from novelty, to celebrity, to sizable niche

One of the 2012 media predictions is that the online coupon sector has evolved rapidly from novelty to celebrity over the course of 2011 but 2012 is the year that it is likely to settle into a small niche, albeit one that generates billions of dollars in revenue. The sector’s rapid evolution means that hundreds of companies will disappear during 2012 as competition continues to intensify and margins decline. The number of people using online vouchers should also decline moderately. Intermediaries that sit between the consumer and the retailer will continue to generate billions of dollars but will need to increase the quality and variety of offers available. They may also need to accept lower commissions on sales of coupons – which can be as high as 50 per cent – to entice more retailers to consider using their services as well as shifting their focus from discount size to value, utility or even rarity to change the perception of the service they offer.

The schedule still dominates

As to another top media trend for 2012, the report predicts that for all the talk of the death of linear television, 95 per cent of all television programmes watched in 2012 will be live or within a day of the original broadcast. Technology has not shattered the TV schedule which has remained surprisingly powerful. A leading video-streaming company has even acknowledged that it is not directly competing against traditional linear television and offered a service it dubbed “re-run TV.”

“Even the advent of social media has enhanced, rather than diminished, the schedule’s appeal as commentary on programs has expanded from the living room to a community. This may be because we are hard-wired to prefer routine. Conventional broadcasters need to build on this power and show advertisers the advantages of the schedule and building campaigns within the context of a schedule,” commented Saguto.

Market research is all in your head: MRI machines and media

As to the trends in the advertising industry, the Deloitte report indicates, it will have brains on the brain in 2012 as the use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging – fMRI – machines grows in influence. Similar to larger, more expensive, MRI machines used in the medical sector, fMRI analysis can show that activity in certain regions of the brain correlates with specific emotions and types of thinking. The controversial technique, known as neuromarketing, has already started to gain traction with food companies altering their packaging and even the flavor of their products as a result of this technique. The method has also been used to determine that people that are very active on social networks have more well-developed brain regions associated with sociability. It appears likely that fMRI will become a key tool for advertisers in 2012 but it is likely to work best as part of a package alongside more traditional marketing techniques.