1. Magazines in a more interactive format
Some experts question whether or not a majority of print magazines will be around in the next 5 years. Each week it seems another magazine closes. With mobile devices and social media fully capable of delivering great content while we’re on the go what niches do magazines serve? That doesn’t mean we won’t have magazines in the next five years, just that the majority of them will be online.
There is a certain audience that still likes to have the printed material in their hands but as there is more of a demand for digital and mobile material it doesn’t add up, from a cost perspective, to keep printing the magazines when it’s cheaper to produce them in an interactive format.
2. Social Media will continue to progress and get bigger
Some believe social media has gone about as far as it can go and others think it’s still in its infancy. I think there’s still room to grow and progress. Niche social networks will continue to grow. For just about every niche you can think of there’s a social network for it and if there isn’t you can expect there will be in the future. Many organizations and corporations are setting up social networking sites for their clients. Some have succeeded and others have failed. Either way there is still a lot of room for improvement with the future of social media and how they relate to companies and organizations.
More companies are thinking about how to leverage and implement Facebook, Twitter and YouTube into their corporate social media presence. Some predict that your Facebook ID will become as important as your driver’s license or social security information.
Companies that embrace these social media platforms will have a better understanding of how to meet their customer’s needs. There’s a company called Radian6, which is an industry leader in social media monitoring, measurement, and engagement that allows you to listen and follow all your customer’s social media platforms. It allows you to monitor, measure and engage your customers with what they are saying and how to apply the information to make your business more successful. If you have insight into what your customer’s needs are, you will have a better opportunity to be successful in striving to meet those needs.
3. Web-based Operating Systems will be more prominent
While our computers will still store files on our local systems, it is predicted that our operating systems will increasingly rely on Web-based files. Google’s Chrome OS seems to be the first serious contender. For desktop computers and laptops it will take a bit longer to fully transition to a web-based operating system mainly because users run more robust apps and programs, such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. which will take a bit longer to make fully functional online due to the amount of memory and speed which they need to operate.
4. More Online “TV” Programs
Online series and programs have gained wide viewership in the last 1 – 2 years. Webisodes have also grown in popularity, which are mini-episodes of popular TV shows that are aired exclusively online. Several informative video blogs have been in production for a while, such as TreeHugger TV and CNET TV.
With video technology becoming increasingly cheaper and easier to use as well as broadband Internet access becoming more widespread, high-quality, Internet-only programs will become more prevalent in the next five years.
Even now we can hook up our computers and our gaming devices to our TV’s and watch online programs as well as streaming them through out TV. With Youtube, Hulu, Netflix and iTunes gaining increased popularity, online TV programs will continue to increase.
I know this doesn’t really have anything to do with printing, but I thought it was cool anyway!
QR codes, PURL’s (Personalized URL’s) and mobile marketing will need to be implemented by printing companies to stay with the times and be competitive. For printers, getting involved in and selling marketing services such as e-newsletters, web development, personalized URLS’s and social media services to their clients will be key to being competitive. Since the printer already helps deliver the marketing message for the client, the easy transition is to be able to have the printer take care of the marketing side as well. Having these services available may be critical to their future success.