You should never have a technology conference without someone providing predictions. And at The Wall Street Journals WSJ Tech Live conference this week in Laguna Beach, Calif., the predictor-in-chief was Michael Wolf, founder and CEO of Activate, a consulting firm.
Wolf laid out his current thinking on the tech sector on stage at the conference this morning, with additional detail in a 198-page deck available on Activates website. The heart of the report is a series of 16 predictions. Heres a condensed rundown:
Internet and media businesses will grow 3.6% through 2023, faster than gross domestic product, adding $300 billion in revenue to reach $2.3 trillion. Most of that growth will come from consumer spending, with projected growth rates of 4.6% for ad revenue, 4.4% for internet access, and 1.8% for paid content. Subscription revenues are projected to grow 3.1%.
Due to multitasking, the average American has a 31-hour day, 12 of which are spent consuming technology and media. Forty-one percent of those hours are video. Sleep? Just six hours and 27 minutes. And by 2023, the total media day is expected to grow another 16 minutes.
Media and tech companies need to ID and super-serve power users whose spend, time, and influences far exceed those of other users. They spend 2.5 times as much money on media services as others, spend 1.4 times as much time on media, and buy celebrity-related products at 4.6 times the rate of others.
The social-media world is splintering. Activate counts 15 social networks with at least 300 million users. Seventy-two percent of people use more than two social networks. The average number of social networks per person will grow from 5.8 today to 10.2 in 2023.
E-commerce will double by 2023. Eighty percent of online sales for the top 20 e-commerce companies are from third-party sellers. Direct-to-consumer brands will emerge in every major product category.
Digital marketplaces like Zillow Group (ticker: Z), Uber Technologies (UBER), Craigslist, and others are changing the dynamics of practically every major services industry.
Videogaming is the next streaming battlefront: Every major gaming and tech company will create cloud-based gaming services.
Esports will hit $7 billion in revenue and 700 million global viewership by 2023.
Average video consumption is over five hours a day but will be flat, with more time-switching to digital video from traditional TV. Live TV viewership has grown faster than nonlive TV as measured by ad views, driven by sports. The average viewer will have 4.9 services by 2023. While SVOD (subscription video on demand) draws most consumer attention and spend, most of the money in video is still in traditional TV.
Sports betting will start to resemble financial trading. Wagering will drive more sports viewership. Due to push to legalization, sports betting will grow 77% through 2023 to close to $150 billion. Wagering in New Jersey will surpass that in Nevada in 2019.
Interest in sports in the U.S. remains high, with more than two-thirds of the population following at least one sport. Twenty-nine percent have started following a new sport in the past three years.
Consumers listen to only a small percentage of songs, with those more than three years old accounting for 50% of total music streams. Alphabets (GOOGL) YouTube is the most-used service by music listeners.
Podcast listening is forecast to grow 17% annually through 2023; listeners will almost double. Traditional media companies will dominate. Apple (AAPL) is the dominant platform. Podcast ad revenue is expected to almost triple by 2023.
The Age of the Networked Body is beginning. There will be an explosion of health and fitness technology, with a combined $16 billion U.S. market by 2023.
Digital-first consumer financial services like Zelle and Venmo have acquired millions of customers in a very short time. New financial companies are upending banking.
Consumers will continue to spend more on connectivity. The market is $700 billion globally and should grow further, increasing 7.4% annually through 2023. Companies are investing in 5G, low-earth orbit satellites, and fiber to the home. 5G mobile adoption should reach 55% by 2023.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at email@example.com
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