Beware a prognosticator who isn't honest about past prognostication. How did I do with my 2009 predictions? I'm calling 4 out of 5.
2009 Prediction #1 – 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. Was wrong there, but I'd like to say this … iPod doesn't yet have a competitor in the Zune. Technically, it's a great device with a great infrastructure, but until Microsoft figures out the marketing and positioning, it's is going to remain a great device that nobody knows about. And, until everyone “knows” about it, this prediction can't come to pass.
2009 Prediction #2 – The meme that “nobody will pay for content” will quietly die. Check. We've got multiple 6-figure Podcasts in Premiumcast.com. Hulu is trying the trial balloon of charging for content. Apple ads monthly subscriptions to the iPhone App Infrastructure. Is the concept “dead” yet – not quite – but she's on life support.
2009 Prediction #3 – “Cable cutting” will become cool. The New York Times is reporting on it. The Boxee Box is coming (quicker than I thought it would). As per my last post, YouTube wants to bring television to your television. Roku has an $80 option. Nuff said.
2009 Prediction #4 – The general public will stop treating microblogging (Twitter) as a 24×7 chat room and find some very strong business uses for it. The biggest pleasant surprises of the year for me have included the incredible CoTweet.com web client and the book Socialnomics (Erik Qualman, author of the book, joined us on the most recent episode of Internet Marketing This Week). CoTweet is a management system for Twitter that makes her a darn effective crm system and Socialnomics will prove to you that this is all much more than what “the kids” are doing.
2009 Prediction # 5- There will be no real competitor to the iPhone in 2009. Nuff said.
So, now, predictions for 2010 …
There will be no real competitor to the iPhone in 2010. There are a number of reasons for this. The 2 biggest are the fact that Apple will make some big announcements next year (including iPhone on other networks and the tablet). These moves will get the press that any iPhone “competitor” can only dream of. The issue is that no phone company yet “gets” what makes the iPhone great. How stupid is AT&T to let this slip away from them?
“App Stores” will become the goto model for everyone. App Stores are easy, sexy, and considered by many to be a “proven” model because of the success of the iPhone. The “proven” part is examined in a later prediction. All the phones are doing it, and we'll be seeing it inside of other systems – ebook readers, OSs, cable systems, any connected device.
We'll see some desperate last gasps for relevancy from the cable companies. They are scared to death because the only thing that people really want from them – they no longer have a monopoly on. They will, out of fear, try to create monopolies – because this is all they know. It won't work. It's gonna be ugly. This one might take longer than 2010 – but we'll see the rumblings of it this year. NBComcast anyone?
Hulu 1/1/2010 will be dramatically different than Hulu 12/31/2010. And by dramatically different I mean way less free stuff (or way more commercials). I've said from day one that she ain't sustainable and the “big media” companies aren't going to stand for it much longer.
The “App Economy” and easy distribution and product creation models will flood the economy with a bunch of great stuff at prices that can't sustain businesses. It's gonna be messy. I'm not looking forward to this one at all – but it is inevitable. The app economy has created a world where 99 cents is standard and anything over that is eyed with suspicion. Not good. The press continues to propagate the meme. Also not good. This can only bring more crap barely worth 99 cents and tech and content companies selling at a reduced rate hoping to make up for it in volume. Niche is not a volume game. It's going to be ugly. Please don't fall victim to this one – people will pay well for the right content, services, and software.
So, I leave the comments open hoping to hear/read what you think. #5 is the one that I think will impact us the most – but all are important issues.