Reading AdWeek’s “2009 Digital Hot List” it becomes clear we’re in store for a dynamic and competitive digital landscape in 2010.
As the brands on the list fight for market share, it almost reads like a script for Fight Club 2.0.
Brian Morrissey provided Strategic Public Relations his opinion on some of these brands and, in the process, some insight into the Hot List.
1) Social networks are comparable to a bar scene. There's always a hot bar everyone goes to until it gets old and they move onto the next hot bar. How long can Facebook hold onto their hot bar status that, in part, put them in your top spot?
MySpace was 3rd or 4th on this list a few years ago. The same could arguably happen to Facebook. Will it become uncool now that the demographic is expanding? Keep in mind the list is a present to near past snapshot of digital category leaders vs. a forward-looking prediction. That said there’s no reason to believe it will be less popular in the near term.
2) Hulu announced a pay model is forthcoming. With cable TV challenging Hulu with TV Everywhere coming from cable as a challenger, what do you think will happen next?
Hulu has been a trailblazing video delivery platform. They took a lot of heat initially. TechCrunch used to mock them – not anymore. They’re a catalyst for change in an industry desperately needing it. Digital distribution can work well for the television industry. The impact of a subscription on Hulu remains to be seen. But as I understand it, this will be a premium option and the base content will continue to be free.
3) What can mainstream media learn from the brands on this list? Bob Garfield would remind us they're all (f-ing) doomed, but if social is more popular than porn as your article states, can social save mainstream media?
There are challenges facing traditional business models and traditional distribution models. There are some traditional media on the list represented by their digital offshoots...but not many. WSJ.com is succeeding with its subscription/advertising model mix. Other media are now trying to organize around social as a delivery model. Readers are gaining increasing amounts of control based on their recommendations. They are beginning to determine traffic patterns instead of a Google algorithm.
4) Twitter is polarizing to say the least with lovers and haters. Can Twitter make money? It would seem that would quiet both camps and Twitter would settle down into a platform you either use or you do not use.
As far as making money, it’s not a question of if Twitter will make money, simply a question of when. Twitter is sitting on a mountain of real-time consumer intention data. There is a significant business leveraging this facet of Twitter. The recent Google and Microsoft deals underscore the importance of this information. If you start looking at Twitter as an intention data platform instead of a microblogging platform, it gets interesting.
5) OK, Rocky IV reminds me of Google and Bing. Bing seems to be Rocky to Google's Drago...they made Google bleed! Less than 10 percent market share/blood, but still. Is social search the next big fight between the two search super powers?
There was much debate with my colleagues at AdWeek on whether or not the $80 million marketing spend around Bing’s launch also bought it a spot on this list. Will it keep the gains it made on Google? As long as marketers want an alternative to Google, they have a shot. What’s a market without any competition? Bing is hope for marketers. As far as which one will own social search, that remains to be seen.
6) My last fight with a brand on the Hot List is iPhone and Android. The iPhone has more than 100,000 apps in its corner. But Android seems to be gearing up for a serious cage match with iPhone. Will the consumer benefit?
The consumer will definitely benefit by having another alternative to the iPhone. It’s tough to compete with THE mobile platform with 100,000 apps in their store. But if there is a digital war waged in 2010, iPhone and Android will be one of the battles in this war.