2010 Looks Brighter for Digital Media

February 18, 2010

The digital media industry should look toward this year with cautious optimism, according to comScore.

As part of its 2009 US Digital Year in Review, comScore highlighted a number of likely digital media trends for 2010. Although many companies sought opportunities in new markets during 2009, sustained increases in consumer demand will be necessary to drive continued growth in digital advertising.

Top Digital Media Trends for 2010

  • Despite a significant drop-off in growth rates, e-commerce remains a relative bright spot for retailers. New buyers continue to enter the channel, and as average spending per buyer rebounds off its 2009 lows the ecommerce channel should return to healthy growth rates. The online media channel also continues to be an important driver of offline purchase behavior, so marketers in all industries need to retain a clear focus on having an online presence, where their consumers frequently begin the purchase process.
  • Social networking and social media continue to drive much of the innovation occurring around the internet today. A critical challenge remains the ability to effectively harness the marketing intelligence inherent in the way people communicate and interact with one another through the digital medium and make it actionable. Even as new capabilities emerge that leverage the “social” value of the medium, this channel already delivers substantial reach for ad campaigns and despite low click-through rates, there is measurable view-through value from these ads.
  • The U.S. search market saw significant innovation from the core engines in 2009, with Bing’s growth promising to make the market more competitive. The trends to watch in 2010 include increased integration of real-time (i.e., Twitter) and vertical-specific search results as the engines seek to both improve the user experience and move the consumer more efficiently down the decision funnel.
  • Online video continues to capitalize on the continued increase in media fragmentation, consumer-generated content, and a rising generation of consumers very comfortable using their computers as primary or secondary entertainment devices. As this market has emerged, higher quality video and more seamless integration of video ads are emerging and adding value to the digital advertising market, to the benefit of both advertisers and publishers.
  • The digital display advertising market is innovating on several fronts right now, including the emergence of new ad units that promote higher engagement, cutting edge ad targeting techniques, the development of niche audience ad networks, and the increasing popularity of online ad exchanges to buy and sell inventory. Each of these developments is contributing to the improved allocation and effectiveness of digital ad campaigns. Marketers must maintain a critical eye on the performance of their campaigns, in relation to how both digital media and traditional media components are performing.
  • With so many new smartphone models reaching the market in 2009, this year promises a rapid increase in market penetration of these devices, which likely means a corresponding uptick in mobile web usage. As more consumers turn to their mobile devices for consuming content and managing their digital lives, there is significant opportunity for innovators to deliver new value to consumers in how they use these devices. The development of mobile applications across new platforms also presents new business opportunity and monetization potential for publishers and developers alike.
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