My 2009 New Media Predictions

First, obviously, my scorecard on last year’s predictions.

  • One major podcast network goes down in flames. None went down in flames but only one of them uses the word Podcasting in their marketing material and we even have one that although still afloat, proudly proclaims a copyright date of 2006. I’ll say it now, the only “Network” that matters at all is Revision3, and part of the reason that they matter is because they know that Podcasting is only a smart part of their story.
  • The writer’s strike doesn’t help a single internet celeb go mainstream. Remember last year when the writer’s strike was going to be the nail in the coffin of “traditional media?” Yup, that was a silly notion. I’ll say it again – “traditional media” is doing a great job at being “traditional media” – we don’t want to play in their playground at all because it simply isn’t worth it.
  • Microsoft Zune podcasting numbers will get impressive quickly. Bingo, done, check, out of the park. I dare a single Podcaster in the Zune Podcast directory to tell me that the percentage of Zune listeners to players in the marketplace is lower than the percentage of iPod listeners to players in the marketplace. The Zune is extremely important in this space and is only going to become more so.
  • Managed RSS systems become popular and important. Popular, no. Important, yes. I’ve experienced some extremely profitable launches that have leveraged managed RSS that have given me tremendous content and case studies for Podcast Secrets 2009. The “real money” in Podcasting comes when different customers have different feeds.
  • The term “podcast” becomes synonymous with “channel” for the general public. About half right there. The need to understand the term is becoming less and less important and technologies will only push in this direction. I dare you to find the word “subscribe” anywhere in the Apple TV Podcast interface and I’d bet you more than 50% of new audience members in Podcasting this year couldn’t tell you that Podcasts come from an RSS feed if you pointed a gun to their head. That’s a very good thing (lack of plumbing knowledge, not guns to heads).

So, the predictions for 2009:

  • Now that iPod finally has a competitor in the Zune, you’ll see advances this year in new media aggregation that can only come from stiff competition. Despite our governments attempts recently to kill capitalism, you’ll see it play out in our marketplace anyway. The “winners” will have some much power and strength that the players will fight hard and long to get there. The audience will be the true winners. BTW, these aren’t the “only” players in this space. Boxee.tv continues to impress and if a Hulu.com box ever sees the light of day …
  • The meme that “nobody will pay for content” will quietly die. People have been paying for content for ages, people are paying for content right now, people will always pay for content. New Media makers will find that being paid for content is actually kinda cool and “get over it.”
  • “Cable cutting” will become cool. With the combination of economic concerns and new technologies, “cable cutting” will become very popular (amongst the geeks, but that’s where web surfing, emailing, and instant messaging came from too). This is the act of getting all of your media via the Internet, not your cable coax. It ain’t the best term as many get their Internet from the cable, but you know what I mean. The digital television transition is making a lot more over the air stuff accessible to people who once purchased cable just to get the “local” stations. BTW, a refurbed Mac Mini with an Elgato EyeTV card running Boxee is amazingly killer.
  • The general public will stop treating microblogging (Twitter) as a 24×7 chat room and find some very strong business uses for it. This will not only get people BACK TO WORK but it will enable these service to profit as companies will pay for business usage accordingly.
  • There will be no real competitor to the iPhone in 2009. Anyone/everyone tasked with building the “iPhone Killer” don’t understand what makes the iPhone the iPhone and it will take them at least a year to figure it out – and get it to market. Like the Zune prediction above, this will bring some great competition to our space, but it won’t happen in 2009. Many of us will be able to ride out our 2-year iPhone contracts without even wishing we could jump to something else.

And there you have them … leave your comments below:

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