Julia Boorstin: Media & Entertainment
1. There will be a high-stakes battle over whether consumers buy digital copies or subscribe to services to access limitless content without owning it.
Expect consumers to adopt cloud services from Apple,Amazon, Google , and movie studios (like Warner Brothers, with its 'Flixter' service) to tap into their content libraries from anywhere. Hollywood will use these so-called 'digital lockers' to push the sale of more high-margin digital downloads, instead of lower-margin rentals. Meanwhile subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Primewill add more content to instant streaming, making buying anything unnecessary. The questions — how will studios restrict content on these services so it doesn't cannibalize digital sales? And which model will win?
2. Television and the Internet content will converge.
Internet-connected TVs will become pervasive. Google will finally nail its GoogleTV software and we may see an entry from Apple. (Steve Jobs' uttered the famous line about TV: "I finally cracked it.") Consumers will finally be able to seamlessly flip between TV channels, video on demand and content made just for the web, like YouTube's 100 new 'channels' in the works. It won't matter what medium video was created for; consumers will watch what they want, anywhere, whether it's a laptop or a giant flat screen, and the distinction between TV and web video will disappear.
3. Social media will grow up.
Facebookwill go public.Twitterwill launch a sustainable business model, built around the service as a news feed. We'll see an ongoing stream of social media relatedIPOs, like Zynga. Fortune 50 companies will jump on the bandwagon, investing big in these services to reach consumers.
4. Traditional publishing will rise from the ashes
Book, magazine and newspaper publishers will cash in on the flood of eReaders, tablets, and smart phones. People have been trained to pay for content via apps on these devices — in stark contrast to the Internet, where they were accustomed to free content. Publishers will figure out how to exploit new devices and get consumers to pay.