For fifty years, the review Strategy analyzes the world of media and communication. What is the view of its current leader on its current changes and on the newcomers that are the metavers, NFT and other virtual influencers? What will the media be made of tomorrow?
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Review Strategies celebrates its fiftieth anniversary through the publication of a special issue, available on the magazine’s website. Fifty communication and media personalities draw the outlines of their new worlds. Gilles Wybo, Editorial Director of Strategies, come back for ETX Daily Up on the latest major trends shaking the media landscape.
It has been half a century since Strategies observes the development of media and advertising. How do you think the 2020 decade is shaping up for these same sectors?
Influencer marketing is a trend that has grown steadily in recent years. Brands are now embodied by one person. This phenomenon gained momentum during periods of confinement. We had to spend a lot of time behind our screens and therefore to be influenced by what we saw online.
L’avatarization of our lives is probably the next step. There is a growing power of the virtual, which is not without raising many questions. For example, if we follow a dog virtual on social networks, we do not know exactly the values that gate. This problem has already been raised with the rise of animals influencers which are followed by millions of Internet users.
We take yet another step with the avatars. These virtual characters are specially created to unite a community around them. We are only at the start of this trend, but it will undoubtedly be very promising.
This mannequin does not exist. But Shudu Gram, the first digital supermodel, now has 210,000 followers on Instagram. © Instagram
Apart from virtual avatars, there is also a craze for NFTs and metaverse in the media. Do you think this is a lasting trend?
It’s still hard to say, but there is no doubt that this is a real phenomenon. Luxury very quickly positioned itself in this booming market of NFT, just like some media and communication agencies. Same story in the gaming, which is not surprising given that video games are pioneers in this field.
However, it is the social networks that show the most interest in these new technologies. We saw it with Facebook which announces its desire to rename itself Meta and to recruit 10,000 people in Europe to work on the metaverse. The giants of technology see it as a real project for the future.
We still lack hindsight to know whether the NFT are just a gimmick that allows brands and media to make a “marketing stunt” or a much bigger change.
What are your reservations about NFTs due to?
They are due, in large part, to the lack of pedagogy around these digital tokens. There is a very technical side behind this new technology, which represents a brake in its adoption by the general public. In addition, I wonder about the marketing impact of NFT and the footprint they leave on consumers. Do they allow you to create a real link with a brand? I am not yet convinced and I find that we are almost falling into the event with these digital objects.
Another big trend in the media: audio. How do you explain this strong comeback of sound in our media consumption habits?
It is a response to the feeling of visual saturation that many consumers feel. Although we spend more and more time on social networks, we do not abandon radio and podcasts for as much. Quite the contrary. We listen to them more and more, when we are busy doing a household chore or just to pass the time.
Podcasts, and audio more generally, can also arouse a certain nostalgia for the stories we were read as children. It is a very vivid memory. These audio formats make it possible to revive it. This is the strength of audio.
Brands must use it intelligently to tell us stories that interest us and make us grow. They have to step back: they cannot put themselves forward as they do in traditional advertising spots. They can perfectly support podcasters in the creation of new programs, of which they guarantee the content. This attitude allows them to create a certain bond of trust with the listeners.
The year 2022 will be marked by a new presidential election in France. What changes will this bring about in the media world?
I think we will pay special attention to social networks. And above all, to see if they do not interfere in one way or another on the outcome of thepresidential election, as it may have been in the past. The public authorities will be particularly vigilant that there is nointerference or attempted hacking from abroad.
The question of preserving the democracy online is also a primary issue. Social networks play an increasingly important role in candidate communication, and many creators no longer hesitate to offer content on politics. This is the case of Jean Massiet, a streamer who hosts live “questions to the government” on Twitch.
These are subjects that interest Internet users, and even the youngest of them. Those who started using social networks during their adolescence are now of voting age. They’ve grown up so it’s no wonder they’re watching more serious content.
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