Video Essentials

Digital Privacy, VR, Product Placement: What to Expect in 2018

Will digital privacy still be important in the coming years? It doesn’t take a crystal ball to know the area has taken on a new urgency, something that will certainly continue.

One of the most popular sessions at the Adobe Summit conference is the “Data, Insights, and Predictions” session hosted by Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst with the Adobe Experience Index, and Ray Wang, principal analyst and chairman of Constellation Research. While the duo offered several marketing predictions for the coming year, digital privacy planning wasn’t one of them. Instead, it was the playing field that everyone will be working in.

Even kids today know that digital privacy is crucial, Wang said, explaining how he found his young son using a Tor browser as a safeguard. Privacy isn’t dead, Wang said, and should be elevated to the 31st international human right.

People are using their own tools to make sure their data is secure, Gaffney said, turning on private browsing modes and clearing browser caches. Gong forward, marketers need to have privacy in mind as they build new online experiences.

Money and Planning

Looking to video ad budgets, Gaffney and Wang see a big year ahead, and marketers have our politicians to thank. The new tax plan will result in a lot of extra cash flooding marketing budgets, and much of that will go to TV commercials.

“TV advertising is the easiest place to put a lot of windfall money that comes into an ad budget,” Gaffney said. Today’s execs have big plans about initiatives they’re going to make to grow the business, Wang said, and they’re feeling especially confident.

But maybe they shouldn’t: While businesses are getting a windfall from the new tax plan, consumers aren’t. Consumer spending should be flat in the coming year, the pair said.

VR and AR

Mass adoption of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is still many years away, right? Gaffney and Wang don’t think so. In fact, they think the next few years will be a huge turning point.

Consumer demand for VR and AR experiences will be stronger and quicker than many people expect, they predict. Currently, 43 percent of adults have tried on a VR headset and 47 percent have had an AR experience on their phones. However, those numbers are much higher for young adults.

“We’re at the tipping point for augmented reality more than VR,” Wang said. Gaffney, however, thinks the reverse is true. People are willing to pay $20 on average for great VR experiences, she said, and VR theme parks could be the saviors of today’s empty shopping malls.

OTT and Advertising

Cord-cutting is plateauing, and the pay TV industry can expect its business to stabilize. Currently, over 50 percent of people in every age group have a pay TV subscription. The lowest amount is 25- to 34-year-olds, where 51 percent subscribe.

But there’s no stopping streaming video, which also allows advertisers to achieve mass reach. Adobe asked adults which video service they’d used at least once in the past month, and the results are (from most to least popular): Netflix (77 percent), YouTube (75 percent), Amazon Video (48 percent), Hulu (33 percent), Roku (19 percent), HBO Now (15 percent), and Sling TV (5 percent).

While most of those services don’t offer commercials, they do offer product placement. Look for product placement in premium video to become increasingly important.

Digital Privacy

Ray Wang and Tamara Gaffney


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