8 2018 trends that will mark the technology, media and telecommunications sector

by bold-lichterman

There are some funny jobs in the digital sector. That of analysts is necessarily intriguing. They are neither journalists, bloggers, nor influencers (whatever) but at the same time researchers, consultants, expert-specialists and often prescribers. We listen to them with passion (or circumspection) for their annual predictions.

Thus, the appointment was given, a few days ago in Paris in a large Parisian hotel, to a dozen journalists handpicked to drink from the 2018 trends on changes in use, consumption and market. of the technologies, media and telecommunications sector (known as TMT study) by his big boss, Duncan Stewart, Director of the TMT Research Center at Deloitte Canada, who, for the famous firm has been developing a well-oiled planetary roadshow every year since 2001, reviewing what digital will be tomorrow.

Paris is an essential stopover on the TMT predictions tour. It must be said that the welcome in the capital is rather warm and that our dear Duncan is not lacking in humor by distilling in his presentation, moments of family life as scenes of everyday life with his wife, images of his adored city. (Toronto) without forgetting photos with his imposing dog; figures worthy of Instagram clichés in order to lighten the atmosphere.

The man is friendly and willingly interrupts the parade of his “slides” to explain at length to the neophyte journalist that artificial intelligence is not the holy grail of digital technology or that those who make voice assistants the major trend of 2018 have not quite understood what the reality of this market covers.

First part of the TMT prediction style exercise: humbly say that we may have been wrong about the previous annual study. Not on everything, of course. After all, these are only trends that the market seizes more or less with opportunity (s) and some hopes are disappointing for technologies or adoptions by the mature uses with the targets. Not all indicators and the famous weak signals are there for an alignment of the planets which vibrates the slot machine in US Dollars or other hard currencies.

2017-2020: A 3-year break before a next technological “gap”?

Among the side effects and disappointments in 2017, it seems that consumer equipment is hardly changing and that it is even marking a pause. “Do not expect a technological breakthrough on this side before 2020” says Sir Stewart.

The magic triptych of digital tools of 2020 for the general public is very likely to resemble 2017: smartphones on the first place of the podium, computers in second position and TVs shutting down… because technologies evolve little. Nothing new except the surge of connected speakers or voice assistants, big winners of favorite gifts for North American and European households in 2017. But is this a “gadget” fad or a fundamental trend ? Journalists around the table are wondering and Duncan too.

We must be more optimistic on the emerging side of some well-felt announcements from the TMT study in 2017: machine learning is becoming (above all) mobile; 5G is rolling out slowly but surely; inland navigation (at home, at work, in shops and for leisure time) remains the last frontier of digital navigation. Duncan will not tell us if home automation will merge into an ambient internet. Maybe to be continued for 2019 …

Let’s go back to what interests us now for 2018; this is what our analyst from the country of maple syrup reveals to his attentive audience:

1. Augmented reality that wins through images and playfulness

2018, a pivotal year for virtual reality; Spread the word! Augmented reality concerns first of all the smartphones of more than a billion users in the world mainly through games and functionalities of “smart” stickers and photographic effects of which the specialty Snapchat then Instagram or still the very popular beauty apps. Phew! After months of searching for itself, augmented reality is practically a reality with 300 million creators each month and revenue times 10 for this market in 2020 compared to 2018. The cash machine is on the way!

2. Smartphones and invisible innovations

By 2023, expect smartphones (then referred to as “smart phones”) to look more and more similar to each other. Connectivity, processors, camera, software layer, artificial intelligence, memory and sensors will launch into a frenzied dance for an introduction of innovations invisible to its users. Thus by 2020, the memory that will equip smartphones will increase sharply, from 32 GB to 128 GB. In 2023, 75% of smartphone owners will use it to authenticate in many situations of daily life. Knock knock, Big Brother are you there?

As for the smartphone today, it is already and will be even more in the future, an almost essential professional utility with a Swiss Army knife effect. Duncan goes so far as to show us a photo of the famous knife to better emphasize this underlying trend.

3. Machine learning: a giant leap for companies

Definition: “Machine learning is artificial intelligence that enables systems to learn and improve themselves, learning from their own experiences. »Warning: large and medium-sized companies will make more use of machine learning: the use of this technology should double by the end of 2018 for pilot projects, and double again by 2020. Companies are looking for themselves on the subject, model and perpetuate? Expect kid’s leaps in business with automating data processing, reducing the amount of data needed for learning, speeding up training, or interpreting models. All this should facilitate and accelerate the development of machine learning solutions.

Machine learning will have direct effects on the organization methods of companies and without a doubt on the way of working “more quickly and more flexibly” adds Ariane Bucaille, representative of Deloitte France. Behind this word, we feel the outstanding questions of the Press: less work? More unemployment? What about the “adaptation” of human resources?

Why do we have to believe so strongly in machine learning? Because by the end of 2018, the chips will be ready, those integrating FPGA “Field Programmable Gate Array” or ASIC “Application Specific Integrated Circuit Solutions” technologies; in other words those that will allow an intensified use of machine learning in smartphones, for mobile applications that will consume less energy, to be more responsive and efficient.

Indeed, the processor is essential for machine learning. Duncan makes a 2018 version adage of it: “If you change the chip, you change the technology” (If you change the chip, you change the technology).

4. The mobile connection becomes the reference Internet connection mode

After this technical passage, small survey on the fly by Mister Stewart for the participants in this press meal: “Who only uses a mobile connection? »Understand« Who dropped their fixed telephone and internet connection? Small disappointment from the speaker with only one finger raised.

However, this unique journalist alone has a striking trend: more and more homes are connected to the Internet only via a mobile cellular network. In fact, 20% of 18-24 year olds only use their mobile connection to access the Internet from home. And this is not who we think at first glance: they are mainly people from rural areas, with low average incomes. This is made possible by the performance of mobile networks, wider geographic coverage of 4G and mobile plans offering more data. However, if, in 2018, 1 in 5 households in the United States and 3 in 10 households in Brazil connect to the Internet via a mobile cellular network, this is only the case for 1 in 10 households in Europe.

5. Digital media: the boom in the subscription economy

We had to wait for the rise of Netflix for video, the success of Spotify and Deezer for music, the acceleration of the online offer of American dailies such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, the success of subscriptions internet for the Financial Times to get the media to believe once again that the internet is not synonymous with the final gravedigger of the Press. The digital and media equation is rather winning, says optimist Duncan Stewart.

Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for content: by the end of 2018, one in two adults will have at least two paid digital subscriptions, and by 2020, 50% of adults will have at least four. More than 680 million digital subscriptions are expected by 2020, mainly driven by video on demand and music; larger consumers will spend up to US $ 1,200 per year on online subscriptions.

6. Ad blockers more popular than ever

Duncan had already told us about it in 2017, we are entitled to a new layer for the start of the year… Enough to give advertisers a cold sweat… Adblockers are used more and more on computers, smartphones and smart televisions (to skip commercials), for listening to the radio or streaming music.

The so-called “advertising allergy” reactions are all the stronger as the level of education and the socio-professional category are high, moreover priority targets for advertisers. Good luck to the advertisers to innovate other than by the easy refuge towards brand content. Create, innovate!

7. The second life of “live” with digital technology

Marketing of experience; does that know you? “Live” broadcasts and events are gaining momentum in consumption habits thanks to and despite the impact of digital. They will generate more than 545 billion US Dollars in turnover in 2018, 72% of which will come from television and radio. Concerts, shows, conferences, sporting events, cinema should generate 146 billion US dollars in 2018.

Being able to have fun, see, discuss, experience a “live” event is becoming essential and the offers are multiplying.

8. TV consumption among 18-24 year olds: the tipping point has not been reached

A drop of between 4 and 11% in TV consumption among 18-24 year olds is expected in 2018 and 2019; this even on catch-up television. This decrease is similar to that observed over the previous 7 years and is not getting worse… but the slope is regular and slippery.

Sources that were distracting young people from TV, such as smartphones, social media and illegal downloading of videos, are on the verge of reaching saturation point. However, the smartphone is increasingly replacing the conventional television … to watch TV.

End of the game and bon appétit

After a 68-slide presentation, Duncan answers the questions: what to think of 5G? Are smart speakers going to revolutionize our daily lives? And other happy subjects in bulk.

The meal ends with a delicious Saint-Honoré cake in the form of a small chalet-style house. Subliminal message in this wintry weather: will the announced digital trends quickly enter our country or will they remain blocked in front of the door by snow in a creamy fresh cream version?

The contributor:

Writing for the Web in 2018 What Ideal Toolkit

Jean-Luc Raymond is Senior Social Media Manager. He advises large companies, institutions and non-governmental organizations on their online presence strategy. It deals with professional digital trends and uses on his blog.

His account on Twitter