Guest Column: Digital will get better & bigger in 2013

This year will witness a lot more of the freemium model, increase in digital spends & development of unique apps, says Vishal Gondal of DisneyUTV

e4m by Vishal Gondal
Published: Jan 4, 2013 6:44 PM  | 3 min read
Guest Column: Digital will get better & bigger in 2013

With the New Year upon us, how will new-age media – digital – further evolve is a question on everyone’s mind. We believe we will witness a lot more innovative, personal and unique apps across gaming, video and audio. Brand marketers will substantially increase their digital spends to reach their target audiences. Also, the ‘freemium’ model will see wide acceptance. Personalisation and hence, analytics will take precedence. 

Top trends of 2013
Freemium: ‘Free’ is the next big thing for sure! For app developers, the freemium model is fast emerging. The term ‘freemium’ is devised using two powerful words ‘Free’ and ‘Premium’. A freemium app is offering an app free of charge while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality or related products and services. Freemium apps induce user engagement, help build communities and spread a good word around too.

Brands and their digital spend: 2012 witnessed India cross the 900 million mark with mobile phone users. The country has the world’s third largest mobile internet user base with over 121 million users (of whom 59 per cent are monthly active users) as of December 2011 in addition to the 85 million PCs and growing number of tablets (Source: IAMAI – Internet and Mobile Association of India as of August 2011). 2013 will only get better and bigger now.

The upsurge in mobile apps has already caught the attention of brands and marketers with innovative products like app jacket, app wrapper, etc. which help the brands reach out to their consumers through apps. With mobile content industry engulfed with the growing apps market and rich video and audio content, brand marketers are likely to increase their digital spends to reach their consumers directly.
Content innovation: Every platform functions because of the content it has for the audience. Same will work here. With apps gaining immense popularity and dependability, in the end it is the kind of apps and the usability that it all comes down to. We expect 2013 to witness a lot more innovative, personal and unique apps across gaming, video and audio.

4G: With introduction of 4G, consumption of video apps and other rich media on mobile phones is likely to take an upswing.

Touch devices: Touch devices have taken over the mobile phones market worldwide. It is now time to take it to the next level. There are already traces of introducing highly flexible, film-based touch sensors in the smartphone and tablet markets. Larger, lighter, sleeker, curved and edgeless designs are the next big thing for handheld devices.

Personalisation: The trend today is to share your experiences with your friends and vice versa. If I am searching for a restaurant through an app, I would like the app to show how many of my friends have searched for it and have visited it too. This kind of analytics will gain prominence.

Social connectivity: We all access social networks through our laptops, PCs, mobile phones and even tablets. With social media now being such an integral part of most of our lives, we will see the social aspect extending to other devices as well. For example, just like when you click a picture from a handheld device and have the ability to upload it to your social profile instantaneously, the same can now be done through a digital camera too.

The author is Managing Director, Digital, DisneyUTV

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