Digiday+ Member Article

The new year means looking ahead to what is sure to be another turbulent year in media. 2017 ended on a sober note of missed earnings, fire sales, platform paranoia and lowered expectations. An even more worrying note: All this has taken place in a roaring economy due for a downturn. Assuming we avoid calamity or economic meltdown, here are some big questions that will play out in the months ahead.

Will the duopoly stranglehold on media weaken?
Tech has replaced Wall Street as the new villain, blamed for influencing elections and feeding brain-altering digital addictions that are making the mere act of deep thought rare. The bloom came off the rose in 2017 for Silicon Valley giants like Google and, in particular, Facebook. Marketers are publicly taking platforms to task for laissez-faire approaches to brand safety. Governments are increasingly calling for regulation of platforms as some form of media companies. Publishers are starting to sour on distributed media strategies pushed by platforms. 2018 will likely be more of the same, only little of the fury on the surface will get beneath it. Harsh regulations are unlikely to take hold. New ones like the General Data Protection Regulation will likely benefit Google and Facebook in the near term. Publishers will wisen up with their use of platforms but not abandon them en masse. And advertisers will continue to do more talking than taking action. — Brian Morrissey

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