2020 Media Trends & Predictions: the digital paradox

by Guest Contributor Jane Ostler | December 04, 2019

Author: Jane Ostler

Jane Ostler
Global Head of Media, Insights

What does 2020 look like for the media industry? Kantar’s experts around the world have identified 12 trends and changes that are poised to impact the media industry landscape in the coming year. Our aim is to help marketers navigate today’s ‘digital paradox’ with confidence.

As the deluge of digital touchpoints continues to create new opportunities, and as digital brands better understand the value of real-life connections, consumers are starting to become overwhelmed by crowding and clutter. As this problem intensifies in 2020, marketers are faced with a ‘digital paradox’; although new technologies will enable richer, more experimental content and increased customer touchpoints, brands will need to look at how they use digital channels more carefully.


We think that continued fragmentation and technology developments in 2020 will bring opportunities for marketers and the media industry, but also some big challenges: hence the digital paradox. Our predictions cover a broad range of topics and are borne out of the insights we generate at Kantar. We bring to life how these changes might manifest themselves in the coming year, based on our conversations with media owners and publishers, advertiser brands and agencies, spanning almost all industry categories and markets around the globe.

Our 2020 Media Trends & Predictions fall into three main themes:

The technology trends transforming the media landscape

We look at the new glut of streaming platforms and ask what they mean for the industry and consumers. We think that 2020 is the year when 5G finally gets real, with China dominating for now, and how it might affect the media industry. The closed loop from content to commerce is becoming real, with shopvertising. And we argue that voice commerce and podcasts both need to mature quickly to help advertisers and brands understand ROI.

The spaces that brands can credibly occupy

We discuss why influencer marketing needs to grow up and move beyond ‘likes’. We debate the opportunities for media owners and advertisers in esports, which will gain even more mainstream prominence in 2020. And we discuss why there is a move back to reality for brands, who need to look at real world experiences in a new light. And we also think that moving on from purpose, some brands will become more radical in 2020.

The context and the catalysts for change

With an increased focus on ethical data usage, personalisation must be designed and implemented in such a way as to build trust.  Cookies have been widely used to track and target online consumers for years; but that’s all set to change, and most advertisers haven’t begun preparations for their post-cookie strategy. We ask how brands can hold their own during the campaign season, as the 2020 presidential elections will create crowding and clutter in the U.S. media landscape. And finally, more and more advertisers are in-housing some aspects of media decision-making and execution, but how can they make this transition successfully?

We hope you enjoy reading the 2020 Media Trends & Predictions and find them thought-provoking. Please see the full report here. But what do you think? Please share your thoughts.