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  • Alex Radford

Five things in tech and media that might happen in 2020


So ends, not just another year, but a whole decade. And, as is traditional at this time of year, I thought I’d share what I think we are going to see in 2020 both internationally


and here in New Zealand, but disappointingly still not a single jet-pack in sight. And because lists seem to do rather well on the interweb these days here are my five big shouts for 2020;


1.      A massive acquisition in the tech space.

In 2019 we have seen the likes of Fitbit bought by Google, Datarama and Tableau snapped up by Salesforce, Dynamic Yield gobbled up by McDonald's (WTF?), and Intel’s modem business purchased by Apple, to name but a few. We are now in a situation with Google and Salesforce partnering to battle it out with Microsoft and Adobe, with the likes of Apple, Samsung, Facebook happily focused on their core markets. So, in 2020 I think it is firstly quite likely that Microsoft will purchase Adobe to solidify their business offering, and Google to purchase a large hardware company to firm up their phone and Chromebook business.


2.      5G. Yawn.

My prediction; 2020 will come and go and still only Jason Paris and a few people at Vodafone will be using 5G regularly. But 2021, almost definitely will be the year of 5G. Or maybe 2022...


3.      Facebook 2.0

It's hard to imagine that Facebook (the platform, not the company) will have anything other than a shocking year in 2020. The company will I think be fine, what with the continual popularity of Instagram and WhatsApp but Facebook itself needs to seriously reinvent itself before it is solely populated by confused 40-year old's sharing pictures with other 40 somethings… So, I predict that we will see a seismic shift in the main Facebook platform in 2020. That and the continued invisibility of Facebook Workplace, Oculus, et al.


4.      A big NZ media business will die :(

This one does make me sad. As a massive proponent of the fourth estate to think that a newspaper or TV business will go under here in NZ is not something not to be celebrated by anyone, but I really do think that it will happen at some point in 2020. It will be a massive blow for choice, for consumers, for advertisers, for the employment market and well, the list is long. I’m an ardent believer in the free market but in this case, I think that Jacinda has much to answer for allowing this to happen.


5.      AI and Machine learning will become mainstream.

2020 will be the year of AI. There I said it. With the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Google leading the world in machine learning and artificial intelligence investments, and other big firms like SAS, IBM and SAP investing heavily in predictive analytics, all of which are now easily accessible by all and sundry. Which means that any business can use tools from any of these businesses to enhance what humans are already doing – especially across finance, forecasting and of course media and marketing optimisation. In the world of media and marketing most optimisations are already managed through a combination of AI and machine learning, and the same goes for marketing automation, eCommerce platforms, recommendation engines and the like. 2020 in my mind will when AI and ML will become the norm…


So there we have it. I'll be back in December 2021 to see just how wrong I was...

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