What to expect in the technology, media and telecoms sector? (Duncan Stewart, Deloitte)

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Duncan Stewart, Director of Research, TMT at Deloitte, explores what trends are going to emerge in the media industry post-pandemic.

How have your TMT predictions been affected by the Covid-19 crisis?

At Deloitte we publish 10 predictions every year. In light of the current pandemic and its economic implications, all 10 of these had to be updated. Not only has this year been affected, the pandemic will impact 2021’s predictions too.

What are the main trends?

The current crisis has revealed that how we consume media is drastically influenced by where we are physically. Due to lockdowns, it was thought that consumers would have more time to dive into all kinds of media. But podcast listening hours decreased slightly due to less commuting. Our findings show that audio is strongest when we’re not allowed to use our hands, such as while driving.

Video consumption, however, rose between 40% and 80%. The absence of the daily commute has therefore increased video consumption but decreased in-car audio listening and on-transit print newspaper sales.

Audio has been a growing market during the lockdown. What can we expect in the year to come?

Working from home hasn’t led to a drop in productivity as many feared but in fact proven to be quite the opposite. It has been such a success that Siemens has told over 145,000 of its employees that they can work from home 2-3 days a week if they so desire from now on. Less commuting in the long term will see a fall in audio listening of all types, including podcasts. In the US, podcast listening is likely to stay under US$1 billion – down about 10%.

However, as the crisis persists, people are generally avoiding public transport, taxis and ridesharing services, which means that commuters are more likely to use private vehicles instead, spending more time in them due to worsening traffic. In the short term, this may have an offsetting stimulating effect on the quantity of audio consumed.

What will be the main innovations in the media sector in the coming years?

The two major tech innovations for the media industry are related to 5G mobile networks and 8K television sets. Although 4G speeds are more than adequate for most streaming, 5G will bring even greater speed to consumers and will especially be noticed by those who game on the cloud. The quality of 8K television will be evident on larger screens, thereby justifying its growth in dollar value across global markets.

The two major
tech innovations
for the media industry
are related to 5G
and 8K TV sets.
Despite these innovations, the greatest change will be to media business models. Hundreds of millions of people have signed up for BVOD and AVOD services, which means that there is now more than one way to sell video content; linear TV, SVOD services with no ads and BVOD/AVOD services with ads are now all competing in a fierce market. With the economic implications of Covid-19, BVOD/ AVOD services, which don’t require economic commitments, are becoming increasingly appealing to consumers.
Duncan Stewart

Duncan Stewart

Director of Research, TMT, Deloitte

Part of Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) executive team, Duncan co-authors one of Deloitte’s premier publications: TMT Predictions.
With more than two decades of experience in the TMT industry, Duncan provides management consulting about what’s going to happen next – a key strategic driver for manufacturers, banks and retailers.
As an analyst and portfolio manager, Duncan has provided research or made investments in the Canadian technology and telecommunications sector, winning the Canadian Technology Fund Manager of the Year award in its inaugural year.
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