2023 Media Trends | 116 & West | Marketing | Advertising
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1.12.23 | read time: 5 min

Exciting 2023 Media Trends

116 & West

Happy 2023! Media trends are always an interesting way to anticipate how best to spend marketing dollars in the coming year. Last year at this time, we took a reflective tone, but this year we are looking ahead and making predictions. One thing we know for sure is it’s time to pay particular attention to customer privacy concerns and third-party cookies. Read on for our full analysis.

Streaming Wars Continue in Media Trends

Not surprisingly, streaming platforms will continue to take a stronghold on TV consumption. According to Satista, streaming accounted for 34.8 percent of total TV screen time in July 2022, making it the top consumption category, over cable (34.4%), broadcast (21.6%), and other options (9.6%). It was also reported that the top streaming platforms are Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney +, and HBO Max.

Advertisers historically haven’t been able to buy ads on Netflix or Disney+, but that is changing. Both platforms have introduced ad-supported levels, where customers pay less but are served ads throughout their viewing experience. 

These options will give advertisers more opportunities to reach new demographic groups, increase ad frequency and reach, and greatly add to the inventory options. For example, we have seen similar user behaviors for sports in years past, such as signing up for a cable package to get a specific channel and canceling once the season is over. However, other platforms adopting the same streaming methodology offer advertisers and viewers a much more cost-effective and cost-friendly approach to wanting to be on “TV,” where investments can be cherry-picked instead.

Influencers’ Effect on Product Virality 

Another media trend we think will continue is the use of influencers and PR gifting. While this is already a prevalent tactic, the total virality of a product (and the product selling out) is a somewhat new result. Some of these trends begin when one or more popular TikTokers post about a new product they love. These are usually organic mentions; however, the influencer could have been gifted the product at an event or via a PR package.

This use of influencers can be more persuasive to their followers, the Gen Z and Millennial audiences, who are more likely to trust this source and their social networks. According to Influencer Orchestration Network, “74 percent of digital natives dislike being targeted by brands in their social feeds, but they trust their networks, communities, and influencers far more than older generations do.” Since the content creator isn’t sharing the product as a typical ad would, the promotion feels much more authentic to audiences. Then, it only takes one video to convince others to purchase it and post about it.

An example of this is the popularity of D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops. There are no traditional paid ads for this product. It has completely sold out due to the power of influencer Ana Stowell. Furthermore, publications like InStyle, Women’s Health Magazine, and People have taken notice and featured the drops in various articles. All of this came from having a good product and getting it in the right hands. 

We are also seeing brands jump on this bandwagon, now marketing their products as “the TikTok ‘fill in the blank’” after it has gone viral. Amazon even has a whole shop (and paid search campaign) dedicated to products that have gone viral on TikTok.

Media Trends Predict Increasing Privacy Concerns: 

In recent years, as consumers have become more tech-savvy, they’ve become more aware of the amount of information being collected and used for advertising purposes. Consumers are taking more control and raising questions about data privacy. According to Pew Research, “72% of Americans report feeling that all, almost all or most of what they do online or while using their smartphone is being tracked by advertisers, technology firms or other companies.” Pew Research also found that “52% of Americans have decided not to use a product or service because of privacy concerns.”

Considering these numbers and growing data privacy trends, marketers need to re-strategize how they collect and use data this year if they want their campaigns to succeed in the near future. Consumers now, more than ever, are siding with transparent companies that hold a high standard for individual privacy. 

Media Trends of Saying Goodbye to Third-Party Cookies Continue

The blocking of third-party cookies isn’t new, with Firefox and Safari having blocked them in 2013, but with Google Chrome making up more than 56% of the web browser market and Google announcing in 2020 the phase-out of third-party cookies, marketers, and agencies should be dialing in and working out their new digital strategies without the use of these cookies this year.

Google recently announced that the phase-out is extended to the second half of 2024. If it’s not pushed out further, marketers have about a year and a half to gather a well-tested digital blueprint to work off of when third-party cookies are truly gone. Spend this time wisely by gathering first-party data, spending more time in market research, and utilizing Google’s Privacy Sandbox as it gets slowly released in 2023. 

Employing Conversions API

Following the trend of privacy concerns, in 2021, Apple released the iOS 14.5 update, which heavily decreased the amount of data received from Facebook/Meta’s pixel. The privacy updates affect the ability to monitor conversions, build targeted audiences, and serve targeted ads to potential customers. Fortunately, Facebook/Meta’s Conversions API or CAPI has enabled it to regain some of this data. CAPI connects marketing data, and Facebook/Meta systems through servers rather than browsers like pixel does. As we predict the data privacy concerns to continue through 2023, it will be important to employ CPAI for Facebook/Meta Marketers this year to stay on top of all the changes. 

Ready for 2023?

One trend that has been consistent throughout the past couple of decades is that audiences become increasingly tech-savvy year after year, and marketers must continue to stay ahead of the curve. We love helping our clients navigate the ever-changing media landscape, so reach out if you need a trail guide.