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20 Trends for 2020: MTM looks to the future


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As we ring in a new decade, our team of cultural enthusiasts and industry experts has identified 20 trends that span across a diverse range of categories, including culture, tech, communications and media.

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20 Trends for 2020: MTM looks to the future

  1. 1. 1 2020 TRENDS
  3. 3. OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 The 2010s has been defined as the on-demand decade where consumers can get what they want, where they want, when they want. This as and when ethos and expectation has trickled down to modern employees, resulting in a widespread epidemic referred to as the burnout. BEYOND BURNOUT #1 SOCIETY&LIFESTYLE WHAT’S EMERGING Modern brands are beginning to respond to consumers’ needs to redress the work/life balance. Pattern Brands, for example, is a consumer start-up that aims to not only raise awareness about the effects of workplace burnout, but to also help people shift how they spend their leisure time outside of office hours. In 2020, burnout will be a globally established occupational phenomenon, which was even recognised by the World Health Organization last May. Going forward, the conversation around burnout will shift from diagnosis to solutions as people demand more balance in their lives. WHAT WE’RE SEEING
  4. 4. In the last decade, Asian innovations have gone from being copycats to being revered by the rest of the world. Products like Taobao the live streaming platform or Moby Mart’s self-driving store were developed and released in China 3 years before the Western equivalents came out. OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 Asian brands’ increasingly cool perception is likely to mean they will pose a credible and sustained challenge to long- standing industry leaders in the coming year. Expect to see a slew of Asian brands entering the mainstream in 2020. #2 WHAT’S EMERGING In the last decade, Asian innovations have gone from being copycats to being revered by the rest of the world. Products like Taobao the live streaming platform or Moby Mart’s self-driving store were developed and released in China 3 years before the Western equivalents came out. COOL ASIA WHAT WE’RE SEEING SOCIETY&LIFESTYLE
  5. 5. OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 Companies and businesses are likely to continue beefing up their fact- checking systems in hopes of helping to reduce the spread of misinformation. Various new innovative verification systems and tools are in the works, from verifying someone as human to ensuring that the products that consumers are buying are legitimately responsible and sustainable. Although concerns about fake news show no signs of stopping in 2020, there seems to be a more optimistic outlook for the further future, with 50% of people believing that fake news will be a thing of the past by 2030 according to Ericsson ConsumerLab’s study*. VERIFIED AS REAL #3 Optimism around the future of fake news is largely being driven by recent developments in sophisticated fact checkers and verification systems online. Instagram, for example, began working with third-party fact- checkers to help identify, review and label false information. * WHAT’S EMERGING SOCIETY&LIFESTYLE WHAT WE’RE SEEING
  6. 6. #4 A UTOPIAN RESPONSE OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 Whilst global events may continue to cause instability and uncertainty, we can expect strong consumer appetite for content that inspires, empowers, and provides relief, serving as the antidote to real-world anxieties. Following several years of political and environmental extremes across the globe, an emerging counterculture is rejecting the most fearful discourse and adopting a more empowering stance - dubbed ‘radical optimism’. With a wealth of literature documenting the adverse repercussions of negative thinking on mental and physical health, content is now imagining more positive alternative futures in order to remedy this bleak picture. Genres such as utopian cli-fi - the literary trend of imagining a scenario where humanity has responded to climate change proactively and wholeheartedly - are beginning to see an uplift. WHAT’S EMERGING WHAT WE’RE SEEING SOCIETY&LIFESTYLE
  7. 7. SURVEILLANCE AWAKENING #5 Concern about data privacy has gained momentum as a result of widespread corporate surveillance and data misuse with 53% of people in the UK saying that they are concerned about what institutions know about them according to a recent BrandZ study. WHAT’S EMERGINGWHAT WE’RE SEEING Non-advertising-based search engine DuckDuckGO, for example, allows users to avoid giving up their privacy online; whereas DataSparQ’s AI powered bar queuing system offers new benefits to consumers by using facial recognition to place drinkers in a dynamically intelligent queue. * OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 A new market is set to emerge that will empower consumers to have full control over their data-sharing decisions; and with that, a new series of privacy controls and benefits will arise in a world that’s always watching. WHAT WE’RE SEEING SOCIETY&LIFESTYLE
  9. 9. TECHNOLOGY OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020WHAT WE’RE SEEING With its faster download speeds and lower latency, 5G has the power to transform on-the- go media consumption, making it possible for consumers to stream TV and video content reliably without a wi-fi connection. Beyond media consumption, 5G has the potential to accelerate the take-up of connected items like fridges, heating systems and cars, and contribute to the advancement of smart cities, smart vehicles, and smart manufacturing. WHAT’S EMERGING The UK and US are among the major economies leading the way in adopting the technology. Verizon said it expected half the US to have access this year. “Just about every industry that touches our daily lives will be transformed – for the better – by the technology evolution that will define 2020.” –Daniel Newman, principal analyst of Futurum Research and CEO of Broadsuite Media Group People will increasingly live ‘on-the-go’, transforming the way we work, live and even how we consume content. Providers will start developing experiences that are adapted to people’s changing contexts and personalised needs: morning commute shows, waiting room quick-fire videos and more. 5G IS OFFICIALLY HERE #6
  10. 10. TECHNOLOGY CASE STUDY A We believe the world's best work lives at the intersection of clarity and surprise. WHAT WE’RE SEEING Until recently, tech giants had vied for dominance of the sector using different connectivity standards. This has complicated the market for consumers who have been forced to commit to a single smart home brand. OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 The decision will not only result in greater consumer choice but also much greater potential growth of the smart home industry, which is already forecasted to reach a value of $53bn* by 2022. Expect to see the first implementations of this collaboration in the year ahead. A MORE INCLUSIVE CONNECTED HOME #7 WHAT WE’RE SEEING Amazon, Apple and Google’s surprising announcement in the closing weeks of 2019 that they would collaborate to create a joint technology standard, which will enable consumers to connect differently-branded smart home products seamlessly in the coming years. USD-53-45-Billion-by-2022.html
  11. 11. TECHNOLOGY #8 PUTTING THE SOCIAL BACK INTO SOCIAL MEDIA OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 Although social media platforms have acknowledged the need to return attention to close social connections, some of their responses are likely to still take several years to gain widespread traction, and consumer reception is unclear yet. Therefore, 2020 may see the emergence of a new platform that goes back to social media roots. Social media channels have, in many ways, lost sight of their original purpose - to foster social connections. As a response, some of the largest, most popular social media platforms are attempting to double-back having introduced new features and sub-products that focus more on the quality of interactions, rather than the quantity. A new crop of private social media apps are creating a space only for “the most important people in your life”. Aiming to be a cross between the family WhatsApp group and a Facebook newsfeed, Cocoon, which was launched by two ex-Facebook employees, is one example of the new kind of social media network we can expect to see more of in the future. WHAT’S EMERGING WHAT WE’RE SEEING
  12. 12. TECHNOLOGY OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 WHAT WE’RE SEEING Recent yearly predictions have talked about the ‘rise of voice technology’ - highlighting the onset of a new way of engaging with technology. However, ‘voice’ is, in fact, just part of the story... VOICE  SMART WHAT’S EMERGING People are embracing smart products, including digital assistants, smart thermostats, appliances and speakers - all powered by AI. ‘Voice’ is simply one of the ways of interacting with these products, but it is also smart automation and ease of use that people are buying into. We will talk less about the ‘rise of voice’ and more about the rise of ‘smart technology’. As part of that, the upward trajectory of voice use will continue, but driven by the sustained penetration of AI into consumers’ homes as it becomes one of the primary ways in which users engage with their smart technology. #9
  13. 13. TECHNOLOGY OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020WHAT WE’RE SEEING Esports, the streaming of competitive gaming, has become a booming industry online, capturing huge audiences globally through the growth of video streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. WHAT’S EMERGING It is not just the household names entering the esports space. As huge sponsorship deals increase the appeal of professional gaming, expect to see most top-6 sides in Europe’s major football leagues signing deals to join the growing esports leagues in the next 12 months. SPORTS INSTITUTIONS GET INTO ESPORTS GAME #10 Football teams and other sports institutions are capitalising on the potential revenue opportunities to be gleaned from this growing business. Footballing giants Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are just a few of the teams breaking into the market by assembling gaming line-ups for global competitions, while Formula One has started streaming over Twitch with gamification.
  15. 15. BRANDING&ADVERTISING OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 E-commerce and social media have both grown at rapid rates in previous years. However, moves by brands to use the two together to leverage opportunities for sales have only begun to materialise much more recently. EXPLOSION OF SOCIAL COMMERCE #11 Some of the more established platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are already enhancing their e-commerce capabilities. In March, Instagram launched a new e-commerce checkout feature to tackle the ongoing challenge of delivering an end-to-end in-app e-commerce experience for users. Instagram Checkout allows users to complete product purchases without ever having to leave the app, and in the process saves purchasing information for future payments. WHAT WE’RE SEEING We foresee a dramatic shift coming. Social commerce will expand beyond established channels as consumers expect to be able to view and buy products within the spaces they spend more of their time. TikTok for example, is reportedly starting to experiment in this space, testing e- commerce related features that could provide retailers with a new way to market their products. WHAT’S EMERGING
  16. 16. BRANDING&ADVERTISING OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 In 2019, TikTok became one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, with over 1.5 billion downloads worldwide according to a report from Sensor Tower*. This has made it the perfect launch pad for countless gen-z TikTok stars, who have found fame lip-syncing to soundbites, showing off viral dances, and crafting comedy skits. TIKTOK GETS COMMERCIALISED #12 As yet, TikTok’s sponsorship marketplace has been slow to develop, with businesses struggling to reap the same kind of commercial success acquired on other platforms. However, a new industry of marketing agencies and influencers is emerging to meet this challenge, helping companies strike the right balance of authenticity and playfulness. Flighthouse and The Influencer Marketing Factory focus on paying social media influencers to post sponsored content; whereas, creative agencies like Bogliari work with brands to create content designed to start viral challenges. WHAT WE’RE SEEING Whilst these agencies represent a growing presence on TikTok, the commercial opportunities for businesses on TikTok are only just beginning and we can expect this sector to flourish over the course of 2020. WHAT’S EMERGING * BRANDING&ADVERTISING
  17. 17. BRANDING&ADVERTISING OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020WHAT WE’RE SEEING In an age of hyper personalisation, there is no more B2C. Instead, each consumer fits into their own segment of one, with each brand interaction tailored by personal preferences, tastes and interests. WHAT’S EMERGING We are likely to see more mainstream uptake of bespoke and personalised D2C services in 2020, as consumers seek to see their personal data utilised for meaningful, in the moment solutions. B2ME Generation Y and Z consumers’ constantly monitored online footprint - encapsulating e- commerce, social media, smart home products and much more - gives brands all the information they require to understand the needs and ambitions driving customer decision- making. For example, Japan-based personal care company Shiseido has launched an app- based personalised subscription service that can provide a skin diagnosis and bespoke skincare formula based on data of sleep patterns, menstrual cycles and a daily selfie that the user uploads. #13
  18. 18. BRANDING&ADVERTISING OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020WHAT WE’RE SEEING VALUE-DRIVEN CONSUMPTION WHAT’S EMERGING However, superficial support will not cut it. People expect authenticity and relevance from brands’ commitment to important causes, such as Fever Tree’s pledge to raise £1m for Malaria No More, a relationship that was chosen due to the shared ingredient in tonic water and old- fashioned antimalarial treatment, quinine. The year ahead will likely see more consumers’ cash drawn towards brands willing to reflect their values than ever more. Businesses will have to put their money where their mouth is to prove that their sentiments towards causes are being turned into actions. #14 As part of a wave that has seen social justice issues come to the fore in retail in recent years, brands are allying themselves to worthy causes to put their activist side front and centre for consumers.
  19. 19. BRANDING&ADVERTISING For 2020, we predict the launch of many more brand owned virtual influencers that can act as engaging ambassadors, whilst simultaneously connecting with consumers in a more memorable way. News anchors that can present 24 hours a day, a mascot that helps gamers destroy freezers full of beef on Fortnite, and a multilingual skincare consultant that can communicate with millions of people at once... These may sound like unusual concepts to link, but all are a result of developments in AI that indicate that virtual ambassadors may be the way that people interact with brands in the future. VIRTUAL AMBASSADORS #15 Following the success of LilMiquela, brands have launched their own virtual influencers who convey a coherent and authentic identity that personifies the brand. Cosmetic company Essence recently introduced its new virtual influencer Kenna, whose presence goes beyond the confines of promoting beauty products. She has her own Instagram account where she shares snippets of her ‘life’, including photos of her travelling, hanging out with friends and caring deeply about issues facing Gen Z, such as climate concerns. WHAT WE’RE SEEING OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 WHAT’S EMERGING
  20. 20. MEDIA & CONTENT
  21. 21. MEDIA&CONTENT ORIGINAL CONTENT RIVALRIES HEAT UP #16 With the rise of streaming services, streaming brands face stiffer competition and are struggling to differentiate themselves beyond being a depository of content. Services are hedging their bets on partnering with, and then promoting industry icons to get noticed. Harnessing talent via exclusive content deals seems to be a key priority for 2020. Expensive content deals, such as Amazon's major contract with cultural icon of the moment and Emmy award winner, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, to make TV shows exclusively for Prime, are becoming an increasingly familiar story. OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 Danny Glover exclusive to Netflix? Where will Greg Berlanti go after his $400 million 4- year deal with Warner? More iconic producers and writers are going to be exclusively signed-up by the giant streaming services and content providers. Moreover, these stars will be promoted much the same way sports organisations promote their star players. WHAT WE’RE SEEING WHAT’S EMERGING
  22. 22. MEDIA&CONTENT OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020WHAT WE’RE SEEING Swathes of youthful talent have emerged from youth-owned media brands in the past couple of years, largely away from the watch of the rest of the industry. WHAT’S EMERGING 2020 signals the year that these brands announce that they are empires in their own right, branching out into other realms and taking control of every stage of the business process. YOUTH MEDIA EMPIRES Youth-focused video publisher Kyra TV has diversified into talent management, acquiring hyper-popular TikTok creators with a plan to turn them into global superstars. #17
  23. 23. MEDIA&CONTENT OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020WHAT WE’RE SEEING POLI-TAINMENT WHAT’S EMERGING A host of high-profile politicians and royals are bringing their global influence on media, with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions unveiling an expansive slate of projects for Netflix and Spotify, and Prince Harry partnering with Oprah Winfrey on a series about mental health for Apple TV+. With 2020 set to be the backdrop to more major political developments, we can anticipate the release of much more politically-themed content going forward. #18 In today’s political sphere, where figures of authority and the events taking place seem more like the makings of a TV show, it is no surprise to see that the worlds of politics and entertainment are becoming increasingly intertwined.
  24. 24. MEDIA&CONTENT #19 STREAMING SERVICES BATTLE OVER ADS OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 Given the non-disruptive nature of advertising opportunities like this, we may see more ad-funded models emerging from major subscription players soon. Streaming wars have taken on a new meaning from late 2019, with further new entrants to the market, such as Disney+, BritBox, and Apple TV+. The competition for audiences among on-demand streaming services is continuing to intensify with HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi all arriving to the market, among others. A key part of this battle will undoubtedly play out over advertising opportunities, with on- demand services presenting untapped spaces ready to be utilised. AT&T and Hulu have already begun selling ad time during pause moments on their streaming services. WHAT’S EMERGING WHAT WE’RE SEEING “It’s a non-interruptive ad. It’s very high value. It’s very brand safe. It’s 100% viewable.” Xandr CEO Brian Lesser
  25. 25. MEDIA&CONTENT FEMALE EMPOWERMENT IN MUSIC #20 Whilst gender imbalances and pay gaps have come under scrutiny in areas such as broadcasting and technology, the music industry has been slow to address its own issues of underrepresentation of women. The gender gap at the Grammys, for example is undeniably real with only 10.4% of the nominees from 2013-2019 being female. WHAT WE’RE SEEING OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 An increase in focus on gender diversity and inclusion in the music industry will come to the fore in 2020, particularly with initiatives like Keychange encouraging festivals and music organisations to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. Expect to see more pioneering initiatives like this in the coming years, all aimed at creating change for women and building an equal future for music. WHAT WE’RE SEEING A wave of new initiatives are emerging that aim to expand opportunities for female music producers, songwriters and engineers. From Primavera Sound in Barcelona, becoming the first major festival to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in its line-up to She Is The Music. the non-profit started by Alicia Keys which focuses on getting more women into the music industry.