Our Insights

Stare Into Our Media Crystal Ball…

February 13, 2019

Lewis Media Partners anchors its 2019 media prognostications with something you rarely see: accountability.

Things move fast in the world of media. From increasingly smarter technology to audience behavior that seemingly evolves in real time, it’s an ecosystem where predictions are part science, part art. And they can often fall flat if they’re made by folks who aren’t working in the weeds of media every day.

What seems to be missing in all this mish-mash of media soothsaying is any sense of accountability. And that’s why we have stepped up to put some skin the game.

We’ve called on our well-connected channel experts — the very folks comprising the Lewis Media Partners team — to make a few well-informed predictions for how media will change throughout 2019 (and beyond). And we’ll be returning each quarter to see what we got right — and what we got wrong.

So, take a moment to review our prognostications spanning the media landscape, and check back to see where we nailed it. And where the world of media zigged when we thought it would zag.


  • “We predict the rise of conversational commerce through messaging apps, and voice commands will continue to change how consumers shop and increase the need for brand presence on messaging apps and voice technology. Customers are demanding more accessible communication methods and businesses need to accommodate this need. Customers are using messaging apps and voice command not only for general communication but for shopping and purchasing as well.” (Tricia Watkins, LaQueta Barnes and Tori Stowers)
  • “Voice Search will start to become more prevalent as the use of digital assistance and smart speakers grows (Amazon Echo, Facebook Portal, Google Home, Siri, etc). Brands will need to adopt a marketing strategy with Voice in mind.” (Lisa Loving)
  • “Chatbots, chatbots, chatbots. Commerce sites with have chatbots soft-selling and assisting customers on their websites.” (LL)
  • “Consumer privacy in the United States will start to be a bigger topic of conversation after GDPR laws passed in the EU in 2018, and as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 prepares to go into effect in 2020. This law will give consumers more control over their personal data, grant them the right to know what information companies are collecting, why they are collecting it, and who they choose to share it with. This means brands with a more ethical reputation may be more likely to have users opting into their data being collected, while other companies may suffer from lack of first-party data.” (TW, LB & ST)
  • “Instagram will continue to boom – ads will get more and more engagement. Businesses will leverage ‘Instagram Stories’ more than ever before in 2019 as users are engaged and actively viewing content. I think stories will become more interactive too, giving people a unique, exciting experience.” (Cammie Dare)
  • “The ‘storied’ format on sites like Instagram and Facebook will continue to grow and become more popular and brands will recognize that the intimate yet casual production of ads to suit the story format.  I think more user focus will shift away from newsfeeds and into stories.” (LL)
  • “Podcast ad revenue will continue to grow in 2019 – digital audio is on the rise. I think more and more companies will see the value of adding in podcasts to their marketing budgets. People pay attention to these ads, they trust the hosts talking about these brands, and best of all – they usually don’t even seem like true ‘ads.’ (Note that tracking ability is still very limited with podcasts and not as sophisticated as other digital channels.)” (CD)


  • “Newspapers will continue to decline unless they’re able to utilize their digital components. We’ll see more usage of ‘Richmond.coms,’ etc. where people can access news quickly via mobile phones and easily forward/share stories with friends and co-workers. Costs may come into play more for these digital subscriptions, but publications are going to have to use kid gloves in deciding how much people are willing to pay for something that in many cases has been free for so long. Smaller papers will continue to close shop, limit distribution to weekly/monthly or focus on online distribution only.” (Vickie Brooks)
  • “Magazines will continue to see smaller publications be eaten up or disperse due to costs of printing, etc. Many will seek to distribute online only versions/digital subscriptions. Reps will push for support of local coverage/content elements within publications as a tactic to get more local dollars. More publications will see a need to not only have relevant content for their readers, but quality content as well.” (VB)
  • “More viewers will continue to adopt TV Streaming services like Sling and Hulu.” (LL)
  • “More digital companies are resorting to traditional media to help grow interest so we think we’ll see more of Apple, Snapchat, Spotify, etc. investing in billboards. People rarely watch TV without their phone/tablet/computer in hand; did you know that by y 2020, 30% of all internet users will use ad blockers. (Lisa Quisenberry and VB)
  • “Out of Home (OOH) billboards afford a chance to catch people at a time when they’re driving and can’t have additional devices splitting their attention, nor can they be turned off/blocked. Metrics have recently begun to be put into place to help trackability. So, we’re hoping to see more cameras/devices installed on panels to track viewership. And to expand upon that tracking, we’ll see OOH ultimately partner more with mobile — pinging your smart phone as you pass by a billboard and delivering the same messaging across both platforms.” (LQ & VB)
  • “When it comes to the big screen, it’s the year of kid movies, comic book heroes (and maybe a villain), sequels (or part 4, 9, or maybe even 25 for well-known movies), some remakes and extensions of old favorites (because everything old really is new again). Even a few TV shows are going to the big screen. In the midst of all of this, you’ve got larger-than-life ads, previews and even gaming catching the attention of theater-goers before movies. Many people now have the movie gaming app Noovie downloaded and you might want to read the fine print or you’ll find the movies are following you when you leave the theater! Yet another way for to deliver messaging across platforms. (The presidential election cycle starts in the Spring and will no doubt continue to heat up throughout the remainder of 2019. Knowing all of the political coverage that we’ve already been subject to, perhaps we’d all be a little nicer cooling off in a theater watching “Frozen 2!”) (VB)

Whew. That’s a lot. But we’ll be here to track it all and report back. So, as we love to say in media, stay tuned…

Beth Saunders