3 Social Media and Digital Video Predictions for 2021

By Nick Cicero

January 8, 2021

While we hoped to start the year off with new and uplifting energy, the unbelievably sad events from this week in the US Capitol are a harsh reminder that while social media has become a powerful tool to connect the world, build communities and inspire change, there will always be people who want to watch the world burn and use these technologies to execute the worst possible ideas. It’s truly up to us to be ethical and inclusive in the communities we build, and in the messages we convey to individuals around the globe who consume our content.

Now taking a step back from world events – 2021 is shaping up to be a monumental year in terms of social media and digital video, and I’ve highlighted just a few of the many trends that our team is watching for this upcoming year.

Wooden Blocks With a Blue Background, Spelling Out "2021 Trends" With a Hand Flipping Over a Block

Social Video and Digital Video Will Converge – Over the last 10 years, the cost to produce video content has come down significantly in terms of production, hosting, and distribution. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok® have brought editing techniques to near Hollywood-quality level from your phone, with the ability to distribute them to the masses. However as we see the value of 1st-party data significantly increasing, building an owned video strategy is more important than ever. Editorializing video had been something typically reserved for bigger budget media companies, however “owned video” (video on your own sites, apps, and players) will emerge as more tier 2 media companies, sports teams, leagues, and even consumer brands lean into video publishing in owned spaces.

Growth of  CTV (Connected TV) Advertising Fueled by Innovative Measurement Companies – If 2020 was the year of streaming, 2021 is the year of streaming monetization. For years, performance-based marketers have been hesitant to dive into CTV because of a lack of measurement and data. After the launch of streaming services (SVOD and AVOD) by nearly every major broadcast media company, there is now a larger ecosystem with greater measurement capabilities than ever before, opening up better options for audience targeting based on viewing patterns, content affinity, measuring attribution across devices and households and more. In 2021, we will see more of these linear ad dollars move quickly into streaming video environments as a result.

Influencer Marketing Expands Thanks to TikTok, Social Commerce, and NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) Enhancements – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about influencer marketing in a big way over the last 2 years. With the increase in social video and eCommerce you can expect to see more and more brands using non-traditional media partners to build long-term content relationships (see David Dobrik and Chipotle). Outside of the YouTuber/social influencer/celebrity sphere, the proposed Name, Image and Likeness Bill for student-athletes also has the potential to break open a whole new way for marketers of all shapes and sizes to tap into athletes to reach their audience. I think this may be most beneficial for small to mid-size businesses in tier-2 markets who might be working with school or local media outlets already.

While the start to 2021 has been a little rocky, I’m excited and more energized than ever before and I wish nothing but the best for you, your team, and your family in the new year. We have some really exciting new innovations coming from Conviva this year that I can’t wait to share more with you about. Be on the lookout for updates! As always, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free hit me up on Twitter and sign up for our weekly Social Insights Newsletter below.

-Nick Cicero, Conviva VP of Strategy

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