2011′s media mayhem: Deloitte

'Consumers will be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of options,' the global research firm says, but TV and social media stand strong.

On the heels of the Consumer Electronics Show’s tsunami of tech coverage, Deloitte Canada has released its annual list of Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) predictions for the year ahead.

The wide-ranging report was presented in Toronto this morning on the first leg of its 11-stop Canadian ‘road show’ tour. The theme to this year’s report was one of choice: with so many mediums in play, how will consumers decide what to invest their time and money in?

Although tablets and smartphones are the sexiest gadgets in the headlines right now, the report was clear in the supremacy of TV in 2011. ‘In 2011, television will solidify its status as the current super media, defying some commentators’ prophecies of imminent obsolescence,’ the report states, predicting that globally, viewers will watch 140 billion more hours of TV this year than they did last year and that worldwide TV spend will increase by $10 billion.

Media agencies and advertisers will also be mollified by the report’s prediction that despite the ever-increasing market penetration of PVRs, the majority of TV will still be watched live in 2011 and thus PVRs are unlikely to affect ad viewership in the US and UK. Canada has even less to worry about, the report indicates, with PVR penetration here at 20% (BBM Canada) versus almost 50% in the US and UK.

One of the biggest stories at CES this year was internet-enabled set-top boxes and TVs (featuring apps and non-linear program guides), but ‘push’ programming will remain the norm in 2011, the report says. Despite more sophisticated functionality, television viewing remains largely a passive activity, it says, and consumers may choose to invest in bigger TVs rather than ones with enhanced tech functionality.

Also highly relevant to the growing world of mobile media planning is the report’s prediction that mobile operating systems will continue to exist in a fractured landscape, with no one system gaining dominance by the end of the year. The report places the onus for change on the telcos and device manufacturers, indicating that these companies prefer a competitive OS ecosystem and therefore ‘only a nearly irresistible force could make it happen.’

‘Application developers might need to get comfortable in a world where they must pick and choose their platforms as no app can address the entire market. Media companies also face a similar challenge, and publishers will probably need to prioritize some audiences over others, or exclude some entirely.’

Social media advertising is set to continue to grow alongside its popularity, the report says, but revenue from it is not. Chained to CPMs that are only trending downward, not up, social media advertising is expected to remain miniscule at less than 1% of worldwide spend in 2011.