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10 Media Predictions For Fall 2012

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Labor Day weekend is the symbolic end of summer. While that is often sad for the kid in all of us, the marketer and advertiser in us should get excited because it signals the beginning of the holiday season. [URL=""]Dave Morgan of MediaPost[/URL] took the opportunity to issue 10 predictions about media and advertising for the fall of 2012. Don't expect to see any spending or economic predictions here, this is just a list of events this fall and how he predicts they will impact e-commerce, media, and ad spend.

1. The fall TV shows will launch well. People are still watching tons of TV, the networks are paying more and more for their programming, and social media is proving to be a big driver in promoting shows. Expect the fall launches to be strong.

2. Election media spend won't disappoint. Between taking the caps off independent PAC spending and a highly polarized political environment, we are going to see an extraordinary election-related ad market this year. The result won't be pretty, except on TV company P&L statements.

3. No major portal or Web service implosions. Unlike past years, we won't see "death watches" on any major online services. Aol appears to be stabilizing. Yahoo is stable and under new leadership. And MySpace is already past its burnt-to-the-ground phase, and is now in its Phoenix phase.

4. Facebook and Zynga will find their footing with Wall Street. Both have taken their lumps with public investors, but both have massive networks of loyal users. This fall, they will establish a new normal with Wall Street.

5. Groupon will either demonstrate a transparent and self-evident business model to the Street, or it will continue to wallow. Groupon is not in the same place as Facebook and Zynga. It has had some real transparency issues. If it doesn't resolve them, it won't win back Wall Street. (I know. I was fooled, too.)

6. Folks will start taking notice of Amazon's relentless march to reshape not just commerce, but advertising and marketing, too. Amazon is the tortoise that will win the race. It may put off some folks because of its massive reinvestments, but has become a behemoth and will start having a bigger impact -- not just in e-commerce, but in advertising too.

7. Some magazine companies will surprise us with innovation. Conde has reddit. Tablets are growing faster than PCs and can support magazine-like content well. Plus, some of the players are moving into video, which will work even better.

8. Twitter will keep growing and will surprise with the upside on its ability to monetize. Twitter is the social Web service that seems to always be under-promising and over-delivering to advertisers. This will be a very good fall for it.

9. Payments will continue to be a battleground for consumer Web services companies. The nascent efforts to play in the payments world by Google and its Wallet will be directly engaged by Apple, Amazon, and EBay's PayPal. This battle will be bigger than the $100 billion in future annual digital ad spend they are also fighting over.

10. The post-election hangover - and still-struggling economy (no matter who is elected) - will leave a lot of questions and concerns about ad budgets for 2013. I don't expect a lot of bright-eyed optimism.

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