Last week, we issued our top five media and marketing trends but, as we have found for each of the last two decades that we’ve been issuing trends, we always have a bunch of secondary trends worth watching.
Here’s our second set of trends we think we’ll see in 2023:
- We’ve reached “peak newsletter,” meaning we’ll start seeing retrenching and reporters returning to more traditional media organizations. At one point, it seemed like every journalist also had a podcast. (And not only journalists.) More recently, journalists started publishing their own newsletters, often using Substack to generate paying subscribers. But we may be oversaturated with newsletters. Substack is apparently cutting back on advances; The Atlantic, where some journalists reportedly earned $400,000 annually from their newsletters, has been re-doing its deals. Too many newsletters, like too many podcasts and streaming platforms, can be overwhelming, and there’s only so much time to read newsletters and listen to podcasts so we’re not surprised. Unfortunately, newsletters were not the solution to the media’s business model problem because good journalism is expensive to produce.
- The U.S.’s efforts to rebuild its semiconductor industry will be difficult. One way to address supply chain issues and increased costs is to increase investment and support for the semiconductor industry to build new fabs in the U.S. Rebuilding manufacturing capacity won’t be fast or cheap, and would depend on a variety of factors, including government policies, private sector investments, and the actions of competitors in other countries. We think this will be an important topic whenever outlets discuss global competitiveness.
- The ad slump will hurt media and social media. It may not be clear yet why the advertising sector slumping – ongoing supply chain issues, crypto, cost cutting or structural issues – but we expect more layoffs and closings at hyperlocal media outlets and layoffs at ad-reliant big tech like social media platforms as well as major networks and publishers. The ad industry will eventually recover – it always does – but quality journalism, which is expensive to produce, will suffer, and jobs and news outlets lost won’t recover or be replaced. Unfortunately, local communities, including residents and the local businesses that serve them, become collateral damage when local newspapers shut down. We’ve been advising clients, especially those that rely on hyperlocal media, to look for new ways to tell their stories in order to reach their audiences.
- The transformation of the workweek, offices and downtowns will continue. For those who can work remotely, the new in-office work week has shifted to Tuesday through Thursday, with easier commutes and emptier downtown lunch places on Mondays and Fridays when people work at home. The implications include updated technology to make hybrid work easier and more secure, new office designs, and the need to find creative ways to build culture and team cohesion. And while quiet quitting may continue, we will see more layoffs in sectors like tech and media and social media. Just as in the dotcom era that had its company deathwatch.com, the current era has Layoffs.fyi, which tracks layoffs at tech companies. Fifty tech companies have laid off nearly 21,000 employees through the second week of January, and, unfortunately, we expect that number to continue to grow in 2023.
- Web3 will gain momentum but won’t be a top trend this year. Because Web3, which refers to the next generation of the internet, is focused on providing users with more control over their data and online interactions via blockchain and peer-to-peer networks, it is expected to disrupt many industries and change the way we use the internet. Because it is a still-emerging approach, we feel Web3 will gain traction this year but won’t be a major story.
We’ll post another look at ongoing trends from prior years in the following weeks.