Every year in January, the Deloitte Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Conference 2014 makes a bunch of predictions about what will happen this year in tech. The theme of the conference this year was mass niches, which is a large group of people that have a select taste.
Here’s a recap of Deloitte’s 10 predictions:
Prediction 1: The converged living room: Less about hardware, more about software
Combined sales of tablets, TVs, PCs, gaming consoles and smartphones will exceed $750 billion, but this trend will not continue! Deloitte predicts the “converged living room” will not exceed the $800 billion mark and the market will plateau. While consumers will likely spend less on hardware, their entertainment dollars will move towards software. “The Next Big Thing” in hardware market is not visible yet: 3D printers and wearable technology will likely be big, but not enough to ‘move the needle’ in an $800-billion market. As a result, consumers will put more focus on software, services and content.
Prediction 2: Wearables: To wear or not to wear?
Deloitte predicts consumers will be wearing more than $3 billion worth of newly purchased wearable technology. While smart glasses will sell millions of units at a whopping $500/unit, totalling about $2 billion in 2014, sales for the rest of the wearables market- watches, wristbands, clothing- will amount to about half of the head mounted gear, in dollar terms. The tipping point for wearable technology is nowhere in sight. However, we can expect to see greater adoption in smart-work settings ie. law enforcement, factory work and other precision skill trades.
Prediction 3: e-Doctor: The Virtual Visit
Deloitte predicts eVisits are going mainstream with a 25% share of the potential market in North America and could save the healthcare system $5 billion. eVisits are part of a booming global telehealth market, which will reach an estimated $25 billion in 2015. Annual eVisits in Canada are growing by 50% a year. The healthcare industry can service 30% of in-person visits virtually.
Prediction 4: MOOCs will NOT jeopardize post-secondary education enrolment…YET
Deloitte predicts enrolment in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be up 100% over 2012 to more than 10 million courses. While that seems to capture a great deal of the student audience, only 3% are actually graduating. We can expect more interest in MOOCs for short courses and specific curriculum.
Prediction 5: Extreme TV 2014
Deloitte predicts Canadians will watch more than 55 billion minutes of traditional TV per day. The average traditional TV viewing hours remain constant. The least voracious viewers will watch half an hour of TV a day, down an hour from 2004. But the top 20% of viewers are watching more than 8 hours a day. This opens the door for targeted ads for those 20% of the population who are watching that much TV. The challenge then becomes finding new channels to reach the remainder of the population.
Prediction 6: Doubling up on pay TV
Deloitte predicts that by the end of 2014, 100 million homes worldwide will be paying for two or more baskets of TV-like content. By the end of 2015, households subscribing to three or more content packages will amount to 20% of consumers in selected markets. We’re not quite ready to engage in cord-cutting, but more Canadians will engage in cord-stacking by adding other services to their existing cable service.
Prediction 7: Sports on TV = $$$
Deloitte predicts the global value of premium sports video rights will increase by 14% led by North American sports leagues and European soccer. While we’re not consuming TV the way we have previously, TV and cable audiences seem to be opting for sports.
Prediction 8: Voice usage: Mobile
Although no one really knows with any accuracy how Canadians are using their phones (Voice, Text, IM) Deloitte predicts about 20% of Canadian cellular customers will spend only three minutes per day talking. Voice minutes are marginally rising in Canada, but falling in the US and UK. And Americans use three-quarters of their total smartphone time – about one hour a day – on non-voice apps. What we do know about Canadians 18-34 is that they believe they’ll be talking, texting, and IMing more than any other age group in 2014.
Prediction 9: Rise of Phablets
Deloitte predicts that shipments of phablets – smartphones with screen sizes between 5.0” & 6.9″ – will represent 25% of the global market, or 300 million units. East Asian markets (minus Japan) will have a greater demand for the larger screen sizes due to the characters, but Canadian sales will likely be lower in the range of 15-20% of the $125 billion category. About ⅔ of phablet sales in 2014 will just barely meet the definition at 5.1” or less. Only 10% will measure more than 6.0”. This is an example of a mass niche. Although phablets represent only a portion of the wider market, it is still worth a lot of money and hundreds of millions of units will be purchased.
Prediction 10: Narrowing the gap
Deloitte predicts smartphone adoption will grow fastest among the 65+ crowd with 50% year-over-year-growth and over 40% market penetration. However, seniors are buying smartphones but using them like feature phones.