Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Game-Changing Tech Trends For 2020

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At the beginning of every year (or decade for that matter), it’s fashionable to review the Tech trends that didn’t quite pan out during the previous year, and make some bold predictions on game-changers for the new year.  To that end the WSJ has compiled a fascinating list of what will shape the Tech landscape over the next 12 months.

But first, let’s start with some fizzles.  2019 was supposed to be the year 5G “changed everything”.  But if you want to get 5G service on your new 5G-enabled phone right now you basically need to have your tongue on a 5G tower, so that one’s still a ways off.  And as for the blockbuster Telco merger of 2019, we’re STILL waiting on T-Mo and Sprint to finalize their nuptials . . . 2021 anyone?

With snarky comments about 2019 out of the way, here are some digital trends that will probably define 2020:

  • The Rise Of Hearables: The next iteration of wearable devices will been focused on delivering what we hear.  Audio content is hotter than ever, which is spawning a new generation of advanced wireless earbuds with built-in sensors and voice-assistant capabilities.  According to eMarketer, by the end of 2020 more than one-third of the US population will use a Hearable.
  • Stream-aggedon Comes To Video: 2019 was the start of the video streaming wars, which will only intensify during 2020.  Predictions are that 30% of existing Netflix subs could cancel as new competitors like Disney+, HBO GO, Apple TV+, Amazon TV, and Peacock (NBC) start to fire up their content engines.
  • Date Regulation Becomes Law: On January 1st, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect, which curtails how digital players can collect and monetize user data.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, with many other states looking to enact their own data privacy laws.  This could eventually lead to standardized federal legislation and taxation of the data industry.
  • Democracy’s Digital Nightmare: If you thought the Cambridge Analytica and Russian hacking scandals were a problem in the 2016 Presidential election, fasten your seatbelt for 2020.  Despite the fact that digital pubs like Twitter and Spotify have decided not to take Political ads, we still have social players like Facebook running any and all Political ads (regardless of their truthfulness).  And then get ready to see your first online deep fake conent . . . like the drunk Nancy Pelosi video, which Donald Trump reposted on Twitter.

While this isn’t a complete list of all the digital trends for 2020, it’s a good starting point.  It’ll be interesting to see how these factors and others impact the next 12 months.


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