5 highly specific (but completely possible) predictions for marketing and media in 2023

Our analysts have already shared what they think will be the biggest trends of 2023, but we’re not done with the crystal ball.

We asked them to come up with some very specific predictions for the coming year, and they did not disappoint.

1. A consensus on TV ad measurement will not be reached

As TV viewing becomes more fragmented, so do the measurement solutions.

In a post-Nielsen world, networks are having trouble finding a one-size-fits-all approach to measurement.

“Each network has partnered with a bunch of different vendors to basically stitch together a set of metrics that they say provides more visibility into audience composition and ad performance, compared with Nielsen,” said our analyst Paul Verna in a recent “Behind the Numbers: The Daily” podcast episode.

Though there is some overlap between vendor capabilities, most are customized to reach network groups, meaning there’s no clear leader in the space.

Even if the industry could agree on a single solution (or a small set of solutions), implementation is a long way off, considering how much testing would need to be done.

2. Bob Iger’s second time around at Disney won’t be as good as his first

Iger’s first time as The Walt Disney Co.’s CEO was considered a success. He brought brands like Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm into the fold and launched Disney+.

Though his successor, Bob Chapek, isn’t considered as charismatic as Iger, the problems he encountered during his time at the company weren’t necessarily his doing.

“I think a lot of the conditions that affected Chapek, you know, the pandemic, the economy, political squabbling in Florida, these are things that are going to continue,” said Verna. “They weren’t really of his making.”

In addition to battling the economy and outside political forces, Iger must also contend with greater competition for Disney+ as the streaming landscape gets increasingly crowded.

3. BeReal will announce its first revenue model—but it won’t be based on ads

2022 was the year that BeReal entered the mainstream. Over a third of US teens are on BeReal just three years after its founding, placing it ahead of Instagram when it was three years out and on par with Snapchat. But despite its rising popularity, BeReal still faces real competition from other social platforms. This will lead it to announce its first revenue model, which will be built upon premium features for users (and possibly for marketers).

It wouldn’t be the first platform to turn to similar solutions.

“Many companies are struggling for ad revenue right now,” said our analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “And we’re seeing other social platforms similar to BeReal trying to think about other revenue models that relate to subscriptions or paying more to get views of certain things or extra features. So there’s some momentum behind this.”

4. Some social media subscriptions will die out

Speaking of subscriptions, can they provide a substantial revenue stream for the bigger social platforms? Williamson has her doubts.

Both Twitter and Snapchat are trying to get their subscription businesses off the ground, but they each have a long way to go before they see success.

As users leave Twitter in droves, the social platform needs to figure out how to course correct before it can make up lost revenues via subscriptions. Meanwhile, the offerings on Snapchat+ are “interesting to users,” said Williamson, but she isn’t sure whether they’re compelling enough to keep them engaged and paying each month.

“I think we’re going to start seeing some interesting signals in the next few months about whether subscription fare is going to be enough for these companies to actually build a business outside of advertising,” she said. “It’s probably not going to work out for either of these companies.”

5. Meta will find an additional revenue stream in its messaging apps

As Meta struggles with its advertising business, it will seek other ways to make money.

“I’m predicting that Meta will make a major announcement about monetizing WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, not via advertising, but via charging businesses for various ways to connect with users,” said Williamson.

Listen to the full podcast.

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