2017 Look Ahead: The Media

by Adam Batstone

The inexorable rise in the power of social media and the growing dominance of mobile devices are certain to continue as big themes in 2017. While newspaper sales keep dwindling, expect to see more innovation around paying for premium content – writes Adam Batstone.

The latest research from the authoritative Reuters Institute shows no let up in the rise of social media as a key channel for reaching mass audiences. Already half of America gets its news from Facebook and the like. This trend does not look like going away and the media organisations that embrace social media – including chat apps – like Snapchat look set to prosper

Expect to see more controversy around Fake News. It’s not new, but the threat it poses to established news sources and to the democratic process means tech giants like Google and Facebook will have to act

Lock-screen Wars could be the next mobile battleground, as the battle to send push notifications hots up. That premium lock-screen space on your phone is a sought after bit of real estate for news, social and brands. I expect to see some inventive and some old-fashioned bribery to persuade people to accept push notifications from a variety of apps

And what will become of the beleaguered BBC, which is expected to announce yet more budget cuts in 2017. That means more focus on core services like news, some premium content like drama, natural history and a diminution of channels. TV and radio is still a massive part of millions of people’s lives, but, as take up of catch up services like iPlayer increases, the need to produce cheap schedule filling programmes is likely to be reduced.

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