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TrendReport Track Record for Predictions for
Last year was a pretty good one in terms of the predictions we made for
2010 and what actually happened. Far from a shellacking, in fact.
Here's our recap:
- Although signs were pointing in the other direction, we predicted
that print journalism would continue to be important. And that was validated,
in part, by Bloomberg's announcement that it would start publishing
editorials in across its media empire, including Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
If print isn't important, Bloomberg would not have purchased BusinessWeek
(in 2009) and would just publish its editorials on a blog.
- Print newspapers and magazines continued to struggle in 2010, just
as we predicted. In July, SFNblog reported
that 18 papers had shut down or stopped publishing a print version.
That's a drop in the bucket compared with 2009's 109 but shows ongoing
struggles. In the same article, SFNblog reported that "s of May 2010,
there have been more than 1,797 job losses or buyouts in newspaper companies
in the country."
- We predicted that 2010 would be the year of online subscriptions,
and very quickly publishers like the New York Times, Hulu.com, Boston
Globe and others began announcing that they would be establishing online
subscription access to their content. Within days of posting our prediction,
New York Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena wrote, "Some
News Outlets Ready to Try Charging Online Readers." Other developments
on the road to online subscriptions included Rupert Murdoch's plan to
establish a paywall for Times of London; an article in TheDeal.com (""Creeping
Towards Ubiquity: the Pay-for-Play Traditional Media is Striking Back,
Winning Some Small Victories Over Digital Free-Content Rivals"). AdAge
wrote about the challenges when some sites charge for content and others
Test for Paid Content as Competing News Sites Remain Free").
- Mobile access did increase, as predicted, thanks to the iPad.
- We predicted that in-flight Internet access would take off. While
more flights have in-flight Wi-Fi, we may have overstated things just
for the pun of it.
- We got a lot of the business and technology stories right, including:
- Apple's iPad was one of the biggest stories. One story we did
not predict was the huge growth of Google's Android platform – though
we did predict a battle between Android vs. the iPhone.
- The 3-D TV market was a big story, with lots of post-CES coverage
about the latest technology in Forbes, the Times and many other
outlets (wondering if it would save the networks) and lots of coverage
at the end of the year (wondering why 3-D didn't take off as much
- We predicted the media would focus on corporate battles like Google
vs. Apple vs. Microsoft and EMC vs. HP vs. Oracle. We were right
about Google vs. Apple (especially Android vs. iPhone). But did
not anticipate Oracle vs. SAP or Cisco vs. H-P. Forbes validated
this prediction with "The Battle of the Tech Titans," published
in its April 12th issue.
- The economy certainly was covered, and there were lots of mentions
of the "new normal," as we predicted. Also, health care reform and
regulations were major themes.
- The state of the media, especially print media, online-only business
models and online subscriptions still generated coverage – can no
longer call that "ink" – but not as much as in previous years. Twitter's
business model did get a lot of pixels.
- Cloud computing and virtualization got plenty of business and
trade coverage in 2010 – and will continue to do so in 2011.
- Location-based services and behavioral targeting by advertisers
did get attention last year – and will continue to do so in 2011.
- We said that online privacy would be an important issue as social
media, behavioral targeting, location-based services and hackers
combine to make it easy for others to access personal information.
The Wall St. Journal agreed with us – and ran an extensive, ongoing
series about privacy entitled "What
- The freelancing of the US workforce got covered in the New York
Adds to Appeal of Short-Term Jobs" and "New
Job Means Lower Wages for Many") and Newsweek ("The
Vanishing 9-to-5 Job: How the recession is accelerating a cultural
shift in the corporate world toward more flexible workdays").
- We predicted that live integrated real-time interactive media will
be common – that was a bit premature. But in an article appearing in
its April issue, "Payday:
Ustream's Pay-Per-View Online Entertainment: Will Ustream's pay-per-view
experiment forge a business model for live Internet video?", Fast
Company validated our prediction.
- In other predictions, we said radio will continue to survive – for
now. So far that's true. But the challenge continues to be that kids
may not be growing up listening to radio – they're listening to their
iPods instead. We were right that the decline and fall of TV networks
wouldn't happen in 2010 as viewership actually increased, according
to Brian Stelter reporter in a Jan. 2nd article: "TV
Viewing Continues to Edge Up," noting "Americans watched more
television than ever in 2010, according to the Nielsen Company."
- It's pretty clear that social media will survive the recovery – that
it's not just something people do while waiting for work. We also said
that online credibility will continue to be important, and some of the
crises that hit in 2010 proved that point when the companies' online
sites did not provide an accurate version of what was happening.
- We said the intersection of social media and traditional media will
be increasingly busy -- a thought validated by Fast Company in a November
cover story, "I
Want My Twitter TV!"
All in all, we did pretty well in 2010. If only the Red Sox had done