Back in 2010, when Arbitron(which is now Nielsen)introduced a new era in radio ratings with the introduction of their Portable People Meter Service(otherwise known as PPM)it also introduced another term that the industry needed to follow: PUMM.
PUMM stands for Persons Using Measured Media and is defined as “The total reported exposure to encoded media in the market.”
PUMM levels have been on the decline for years and this is keeping me up at night.
Are available audiences just vanishing or are they melting away due to various competitive factors?
Melting is a more exact answer to this dilemma especially in light of Nielsen’s 2020 rollout of the PPM Headphone listening adjustment which addressed years of client complaints that the PPM Meters weren’t adequately measuring radio listening occurring on headphones.
This measurement gap was long seen as a significant culprit of declining PUMM and since the implementation in October 2020 has provided a lift in PPM markets.
The PUMM decline started getting industry attention about four years ago and became a topic of conversation for industry groups I was part of like the Nielsen Advisory Council and the NAB’s Committee on Local Radio Audience Measurement.
Depending on the market the decline ranges from 2 to 5 % per year and is additionally complicated by the behavioral factors associated with the pandemic.
This should serve as a wake-up call to content creators and the need for consistent content excellence.
Follow what has happened with the Television industry and it should give you additional concern.
Traditional consumption has changed for TV.
The impact on Television viewing habits manifests itself in regular ratings horror stories like The 2021 Oscars which laid a massive egg and was watched by a mere 9.85 million viewers.
The content creator of today needs to “bring it” to compete with a short attention span world.
They need to be well prepared and engaged with an audience every second with compelling content that can’t be found anywhere else.
As new platforms emerge for consumption there are stark reminders like at this years Grammy Awards when the group BTS shared a 17 minute clip on a platform called VLive, that raked in almost as many viewers in such a short time as the entire two hour show!
So where is the audience melt coming from regarding PUMM declines?
Multiple sources according to Edison’s 2021 Share of Ear Report:
On-Line Audio consumption now is at roughly 193 Million 12+ and is spread across Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, You-Tube Music, SoundCloud and Sirius/XM as consumer choice.
Then there is owned music which as a consumption option now has 48% of 12+ population.
The options are vast when it comes to how consumers spend time with other entertainment options and this needs to set off alarm bells.
The Covid factor has also forced a shift in behavior that must be acknowledged when it comes to radio consumption patterns.
Although a return to some normalcy cannot be ignored, some companies will undoubtedly allow more work from home options as an employee perk.
The future of computing patterns is uncertain and we know there has been change.
As behavior has shifted it would be wise for radio to find ways to welcome back their audience as if it is “new cume” coming into the pipeline.
I can imagine great real- world production with actual listeners that could accomplish this and help a station stand out in their market.
The “Melt” is not only due to consumption options chipping away at audience.
Its about those unfortunate examples of weak investment in the long- term future of a brand.
Quality is Paramount to Future Success!
Another important reminder that content providers “have to bring it” every available second as they compete for attention and mindshare.
Between investment in great content and acknowledgement of why PUMM levels are under attack the time is now to “Stop the Melt.”
Is your culture based on appreciation?
There are many important core values that should permeate your organization.
Transparency is important so the organization always knows where the business is headed.
From transparency comes a great funnel of communication where the mission is always very clear.
Empathy is always an important core value that guides the mission thru good and bad times.
At its core, one value that is crucial for a successful organization is appreciation.
If you are in a key leadership position that can make a difference challenge yourself to evaluate whether you can build a greater culture of appreciation to drive your organization.
Appreciation is one of the simplest examples of practicing strong etiquette skills in today’s complex world.
So if it is so simple why is it often a missing link from how today’s leaders frame their mission?
Unfortunately, leaders often just “check the box” when they are considering what core values are most important to their future success and they miss the importance of appreciation.
Appreciation can drive an organization from top to bottom, inside the entity and outside as well.
Inside an organization some areas to consider are:
Does your team celebrate and acknowledge great moments of success and thereby showcasing great efforts of performance within your entire building?
This is like an internal bragging book that lives and breathes somewhere physically in your office space.
Does your team celebrate and share great content that has been created as a statement of appreciation?
Does leadership show appreciation for ratings and revenue victories?
Those victories should never be taken for granted.
Appreciation that is expressed among all aspects of the organization and across departments is a contagious fuel for a great culture.
Every department, from on-air, to sales, to promotions, to production, to engineering, to digital, to traffic, to accounting and everything in between deserves acknowledgement and appreciation.
External delivery of appreciation is also vital to the culture of organizations and should be steeped in well honed etiquette skills as well.
Appreciation for what clients and partners mean to the success of an entity.
Appreciation for the audience and their loyalty.
These are vital factors in how brands are perceived.
Appreciation for the community is equally important.
Everything should pass thru the filter of appreciation to be certain this aspect of operating IS the culture.
This is your opportunity to define the heart and soul of your organization for the years ahead.
Does your Air Talent have strong etiquette skills?
I want to give a shout-out to talent coach extraordinaire Steve Reynolds for his motivation on this post after he read comments by Drew Horowitz and I on bringing etiquette back.
Is your air talent aware of the importance of practicing strong etiquette skills?
They have been warriors during the last year of the pandemic entertaining, informing and providing companionship for audiences in every market.
They like everyone have been under incredible duress to perform under unique circumstances.
Your talent is on the front line representing your brand day in and day out.
I believe it would be healthy to give them a gentle reminder about some rules of etiquette as they conduct themselves.
Does your talent acknowledge and respond to all forms of incoming communication from listeners?
I remember when the awesome social media strategist Lori Lewis first came onto the scene making this point many years ago.
Acknowledging and responding to audience incoming(whether it be positive or negative)is vital to maximizing that relationship and is a crucial cog in business etiquette across the entire spectrum.
If someone takes the time to engage they deserve response.
There should be no ambiguity about this.
The manner that talent interacts with clients is also crucial in the hierarchy of business etiquette.
Does your talent go the extra yard when client interactions occur?
Do they work at developing a personal relationship with the clients that is built on respect?
Do they communicate with the client contact with a simple note of thanks for the business?
If your clients are investing in your talent and your brand they deserve to be treated properly.
The same holds true for relationships with other partners and collaborators such as non-profits that are so important for success.
Once again there should be no ambiguity here.
Lastly, how does your talent internally practice etiquette?
I’ve seen stations that I’ve competed against implode internally that have talent practicing a lack of respect for each other and for the common goal.
Egos are a part of the mix at every station and no one is expecting a staff to get along perfectly.
But at the core there has to be a sense of etiquette that prevails over chaos and backbiting.
Once again there should be no ambiguity here.
The ultimate “cold shoulder” of business is the act of ghosting.
Initially born in the early 2000’s around the on-line dating universe, ghosting is the colloquial term describing the practice of ending communication or contact with a partner, friend, business relationship, job candidate or similar individual without any apparent warning or justification and ultimately ignoring attempts to communicate made by said individual.
As the proper rules of business etiquette are under attack this tactic has unfortunately crept into the business world and has become a standard operating procedure that many sadly practice.
Why has this practice accelerated?
Impossible to answer completely but one has to wonder if the rise of social media over the years has been an accelerant?
Social media makes it easy to think individuals have connected with one another yet social is a quick messaging to an individual and then it’s “on to the next thing.”
The “on to the next thing” mentality has made our society less engaged with truly understanding the feelings of others.
We can all acknowledge that an email inbox that is overwhelming and overflowing can stress out the best of us, but where has the commonsense decency of business and personal interaction gone?
Every business has become prone to this problem.
I hear from many broadcast professionals who are searching hard for their next gig who experience the frustration of being “ghosted” in a job search.
Typical scenario is an individual has a great conversation or two with a prospective employer, vibe feels good and they sense a good potential match or collaboration.
Individual does follow-up reach out to prospective employer and without any explanation or rationale the reach out is met with crickets.
No explanation, no communication just a deafening thud to the conversation.
Then the interaction worsens when a job applicant doesn’t even get the courtesy of a rejection letter to let them know of another candidate getting a position.
These are simple rules of personal and professional etiquette that have almost vanished from standard operating procedure.
If you are ever in the hiring and recruitment process for your business it is imperative you have a system that clearly communicates to job candidates the status and ultimate determination in the hiring process.
Furthermore, if a job candidate asks for some feedback on why they didn’t get the position offer them helpful input on why it wasn’t a match.
It is part of your brand identity on how you conduct business and it ultimately carries a lot of weight on the impression people have of working for your company.
Do the right thing by people and make ghosting a thing of the past.
This would be a positive step in improving the business etiquette of your company.
Utilized by many but forgotten by some, The Feedback Loop is one of the most valuable assets any organization can have in its arsenal.
The loop is critical to an organizations internal operation when it is deployed to get close to the energy, vibe and outlook of the frontline workers.
How do employees feel about the state of an organization?
Are they optimistic about the future or do they dread the outcome of each day?
Do they have a clear understanding of the mission and purpose of the company?
The Feedback Loop gets close to the heart and soul of the team and can detect festering wounds that may not have fully surfaced.
By finding a way to ask the right questions of your team in an organized research manner , you are creating an important early warning system if problems exist on the road ahead.
If you have one of many workforce’s that are working virtually, now would be the time to probe via the feedback loop if zoom fatigue has truly set in with your team.
If that is the case you can create a new strategy to meet the needs of your team just like Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser realized when she acknowledged the stress on her team during the new zoom abnormal.
Fridays at Citigroup are “zoom-free” as staffers are banned from scheduling internal video meetings as a way to help address workplace malaise.
The world is shifting quickly and having a feedback loop for your internal team is critical to tapping the vital signs of your employees.
The Feedback Loop is also critical when it comes to staying close to your customers, clients or partners.
Sometimes the fast pace of life has us lose sight of the real tone and complexion of a marketplace and by creating regular feedback loops you stay close to what is really happening.
Are you strongest customers happy with the service they are getting from you?
Are they happy with the results they are getting from you?
Are you making it simple for them to transact business and are there ways you can make it even MORE frictionless?
The Feedback Loop can help you solve problems and create new opportunities and solutions.
Client advisory boards are a great way to obtain feedback and stay ahead of your competition.
The Feedback Loop is also critical on a consistent basis with you listeners/audiences.
Formal research obviously keeps you up to date with the ongoing status of your important brand images, but a regular feedback loop can also clue you in on potential changes that are fast developing.
Tapping your “frequent fliers” for feedback requires courage and tenacity to hear the truth but should be a part of regular input.
Asking for feedback from all of your constituents provides another important benefit.
By asking for input, the image that you care what they think truly goes a long way in cementing an honest and open relationship.
Couple that with activating suggestions that might occur from this process and you have a powerful brand enhancing benefit with The Feedback Loop.
Talent remains as one of our most precious commodities.
Great talent is the difference maker in a head to head competitive battle.
It is also our point of differentiation when it comes to our battle for ears versus pure plays.
If you are someone managing talent first of all thank your lucky stars that you are working for a company that shares your love for talent and is giving you that resource to have a shot at winning.
This is something to not take lightly.
So how do you make the most of this resource and best manage your talent?
One priority for your consideration rests with how you make that process of managing talent interesting and dynamic for them.
Let’s face it, most talent does not like the process of being managed.
Yes, they would like encouragement and recognition but by and large they would rather be left alone.
It’s incumbent on you to make the process of delivering feedback with a unique and compelling value proposition.
Some thoughts on how to approach this are as follows:
Be present and in the moment when possible for your biggest shows.
Before COVID-19 the recommendation from me would be show up as often as possible for your entire morning show.
I’ve observed many great programmers use this as a simple and definitive way to be literally present for talent to provide real time feedback and support.
If you can’t do this in person then find a way to do this virtually with an eye on making this productive and not suffocating for the talent.
Communicate regularly and consistently with your talent with regards to ratings performance.
Additionally, communicate the performance of the station on other key factors such as revenue, budget goals and relative performance versus the market.
Your talent are strong determiners of the fate of the mission and its only fair that they know where things stand.
Another tactic to put on the table to keep talent engaged is the method used by the late great basketball Coach John Wooden.
Coach Wooden believed that variety was an important element in his day to day coaching style as a way to keep his talent engaged.
He wanted to consistently mix it up with the routine of practice drills so the exercise wasn’t monotonous.
Consider ways you can make your talent drills filled with variety.
Don’t just rely on the same air check method every time.
Maybe one day, focus on what makes talent from another market great at what they do.
Then another meeting ask the talent specifically to come prepared on what they think the best content of the week is.
Follow up with another drill only bent on focusing on excellent teases.
You get the picture.
Mix it up to keep it interesting.
Great talent managers know how to dole out feedback so effortlessly that it becomes second nature for both the talent and the programmer.
Foster a relationship where the talent feels welcome to give their thoughts regarding the overall operation.
Many times these open and frank bigger picture conversations can be an easy way for the programmer to give feedback regarding other aspects of the talents job.
Lastly, the programmer should find ways to give regular feedback, ESPECIALLY moments of positivity.
The ratio of positive to negative feedback needs to be always on the side of positivity first.
The ratio of positive to negative feedback should be close to 10 to 1 if possible.
Filling the talents bucket allows those moments that they need the brutal truth to stand a better chance of being received.
Talent IS special so your treatment of them should be as well!
Presently we are in a rare time in so many businesses.
Resources are being pushed to the brink and the proper allocation of these resources often needs to be called into question.
Putting your business on automatic pilot is no longer an option.
As daunting as the challenges can feel, we have new opportunities to make our engagement with our fans and customers more meaningful.
This opportunity allows those of us in this position to stand out from the pack.
What is the one theme that can propel this opportunity?
Two simple words.
If you are struggling to barely meet expectations in this challenging time you need to fix this immediately.
Once you have the basics under control you have to ascertain how to exceed expectations.
For your customers.
For your audience.
For your employees.
Figure out ways to deepen your relationship with customers so they don’t see you as someone that only calls when you are chasing down money.
How can you better serve them during good and bad times?
Is there a new partner that you can connect them with that might make a difference in their business world?
Can you help them understand what campaigns worked and what didn’t work and why?
These are ways to exceed their expectations.
I’m sure you can brainstorm other ways.
How can you exceed expectations with your audience and surprise and delight them in the process?
Loyalty by your audience SHOULD have its privileges and exceeding expectations for them increases the likelihood that your word of mouth will increase as well.
The same goes for your relationship with your employees.
Imagine a workforce where individuals regularly figured out how to offer to help fellow co-workers before they had to ask.
That’s a world of exceeding expectations.
Word of mouth is such a vital force whether you are dealing with customers, your audience or your employees.
By living in a world of exceeding expectations, you can unleash the word of mouth to set you apart.
As leaders it is increasingly important to place a high value in your organization to exceeding expectations.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski from Duke always has a great handle on this: “The thing I loved the most and still love the most about teaching is that you can connect with an individual or a group and see that individual or group exceed their limits.”
The Consumer Technology Association has just put the wraps on CES 2021 and the event couldn’t have come at a better time for many of us associated with the show.
Every year we look forward to the trek to Las Vegas, to see the future and the CTA deserves immense credit for making the first ever virtual happening a success.
CTA made history with the event becoming the largest Digital Tech industry event ever with almost 2000 exhibitors participating.
To say that the event has evolved over the years, especially including this “pivot” year would be an understatement.
Back in 1967, when the event first started in NY there were 14 exhibitors.
Last year in Vegas there were 4000 exhibitors and over 170,000 attendees.
CES always plays a pivotal role in helping us see the cutting edge of the future.
That’s why we love the event so much!
The 70’s at CES brought us an innovation called the VCR.
The 80’s brought us the Camcorder.
The 90’s brought us the DVD.
The 2000’s brought us the X Box.
Just to put the more recent times in perspective at CES it was 2008 the Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates laid out his company’s roadmap for something called “The Cloud.”
What a journey thanks to CES it has been.
So where did the journey take us in 2021 and what were some key takeaways for us to take back to our teams?
Let’s break it down:
Resilience was a key theme the technology business should be incredibly proud out.
The unexpected event occurred and innovation pressed forward in so many dynamic aspects of the business.
Pivoting became one of the most overused keywords during the pandemic as entire industry categories needed to evaluate the strategy they had locked into place some time ago.
Julie Sweet the CEO of Accenture coined the term “compressed disruption” as she pointed out the need for leaders of today to have “the courage and willingness to rethink their game plan.”
Leadership traits by key executives and CEO’s of major companies are being pushed to the brink during this crisis and its valuable to note some key examples of success that have brought businesses together to survive and thrive.
Gary Shapiro the CEO of CTA is a great example in his role of bringing a global force together for CES this year and making the experience valuable and worthwhile.
The new CEO/Corie Barry of Best Buy is another great example as well.
There are many examples.
Her quote on leadership says it well: “My job is to create conditions for other people to be successful.”
Social Responsibility is always a theme at CES but this year it seemed to take on new meaning.
This took on a variety of meanings for various companies at CES, for example:
Bosch is committed to making a difference with the immense challenge of climate change and states as a priority reducing CO2 emissions in their factories.
Samsung spoke about sustainability and doing what is right and better for the planet.
General Motors is all in on electric vehicles and zero emissions.
It seems when the pandemic first hit most brands pushed hard on the notion of a purpose driven message and the hope is that this is truly a long term commitment to making our world a better place.
Personalization of the customer experience is always front and center at CES and this year is no exception.
This is a key area the radio business has still not figured out how to attack in mass and other industries have made it a priority.
Some specific examples are: Ford-and the personalization involved with their voice technology that allows for more conversational speech patterns, Mercedes Benz and their MBUX Entertainment system that has a fully intuitive user interface and Samsung with the various ways that allow you to customize your living space and personalize their services.
Iteration has always been a part of the innovation roadmap and the necessity in the last year for brands to incorporate this into their operational process has been key.
Some trial and error to see what sticks is a foundation to breaking new ground for success and leaders needed to have their sensors ready so they could maximize performance.
The Feedback Loop has never been more important for technology leaders and marketers in 2021 and we saw this in action at CES.
Staying close to employees while distance was mandatory took on new meaning and brands needed to stay especially close to what their customers are thinking.
This remains a key opportunity and priority for the radio sector.
Lastly, Brand Differentiation pops into my head as a big challenge for the Consumer Technology business as it is for the radio business.
In so many cases, it is hard to specifically define for a brand what flag they are planting to be known for.
As an example, the Digital Health category is crowded with self administered personal wellness products that all feel like one big blur to me.
Radio often faces the same challenge when it comes to what makes specific brands special and unique.
Thanks to Radio Ink for letting me pass on what I “saw” from the Virtual CES 2021.
Looking forward to the long lines and the sensory overload next year in Vegas!
There are always many story lines that unfold at CES that provide valuable insights, no matter what business you are in.
Here is a breakdown of the show to date:
The CEO’s And Their Messaging
Always an insightful part of the show as many of the exhibitor CEO’s not only lay out important priorities for their companies, new product lines and key leadership themes for their belief systems.
CEO Corie Barry from Best Buy is at the top of the list for her authentic messaging as a new leader during a pandemic.
As Corie said “Everything accelerated when the pandemic hit and we needed to realize as far as our customer base that the customer is in control as far as where they want it, when they want it and how they want it. Personalization of service is key and the consumer is in control.”
In her view the pandemic accelerated what the future of retail will look like and things that would have taken weeks or months to create and act upon Had to happen immediately.
Iteration became an important trait of Best Buy and it was critical that they had an excellent feedback loop with their employees and customers so they could adjust accordingly.
Purpose driven leadership became equally important for them to double down on and Corrie believes more than ever that leadership should consist of inclusive traits such as vulnerability, empathy, courage and grace.
Lastly, when asked what she has learned during this time she said “Embrace that there is no playbook for so many scenarios that crop up.”
Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg presented his company’s mission for the various currencies of 5G and what they will bring to consumers and business stakeholders in the years to come.
He spoke about how 5G will advance the future of Smart Cities and how they are partnering with UPS to improve the efficiencies of the delivery business.
Additionally, he highlighted their “Pay it Forward Live” music series in conjunction with Snapchat which was made possible by 5G technology with a special guest appearance by The Black Pumas.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra focused her presentation on her company’s major commitment to Electric with an aggressive playbook for multiple car brands.
A common theme for many brands that are exhibiting at CES is personalization and Mary Barra talked about this at multiple moments by talking about “the focus on you” as they dealing with the changing face of the car consumer.
As companies have been challenged with advancing initiatives during the “new normal” she brought out Kyle Vogt/Co-Founder and CTO of Cruise which is GM’s partner autonomous company to talk about the previous year of evolution.
The encouraging storyline is that Cruise grew significantly during the pandemic as their autonomous pilot programs in San Francisco and Scottsdale Arizona continued to evolve.
They have a delivery partnership with Walmart in the works and GM has also diversified their revenue portfolio with a vertical called “BrightDrop” which will be a logistics focused electric delivery unit.
So what are the key brand messaging themes that we are hearing from CES 2021?
First and foremost of course the pandemic has been on every brands mind as they react to the new world.
As Fred Jacobs put it on his excellent Virtual CES tour “the pandemic pivot has been on the mind of many of the brands here on display.”
Samsung has branded their company as “Better Normal for All”, Kohler when talking about their smart home technology says “we want to make consumers life simpler and easier” and LG says “the meaning of home has changed.”
Another big brand messaging theme that has permeated the show has been Artificial Intelligence/AI.
The best description that I heard around consumer technology came from tech guru Shawn Dubravac, who accompanied the Jacobs Media Virtual Tour and said “AI is about making prediction cheap.”
As Digital Health Care has been an exploding category during the pandemic you are seeing numerous AI applications in that world like:
Axir Engine-which comes from Axion Research and is the first AI powered disease risk engine and is early cancer detection technology.
Imedisync-which is an AI powered digital mental health care platform provider.
And Nuralogix-which has an AI powered product called Anura which is an app that positions itself as your personal wellness app that can measure all of your vitals.
The key question with all of these significant advancements is will they ever get FDA approval to help their go to market strategy?
CES is all about pushing the boundaries of innovation and it is great to see so many companies have been tremendously active during lockdown.
I expect CES 2022 to showcase even greater advancements in our technology world to improve life and solve business problems.
As CES 2021 is just beginning with Monday’s Press Day, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the virtual event.
Would it purely resemble a Zoom or Microsoft Teams appointment?
Would there be that presentation sizzle we have grown to expect from the big brands who are participating?
Would I miss the endless cab lines?
I’m here to tell you at first blush that the Consumer Technology Association has done a great job in keeping with the show biz vibe.
Additionally, the big brands as expected have invested in the look and sizzle of their press conferences and keynotes as well.
Let’s agree we don’t miss the cab lines for sure although I do miss the random connections you make while in the que.
To give us more perspective on what to look forward to I called upon my friend Ben Arnold/Industry Analyst from the NPD Group.
A few years back I was privileged to interview Ben at the Radio Ink Forecast Event and his wisdom is much appreciated!
BK: What are the key central themes you expect to come out of CES 2021?
BA :I think we will see a lot around 5G. Over the last 3 years at CES, 5G has been a story, but mostly around infrastructure and explaining the technology- “what will this new technology do once it gets here”. This year we have several major 5G phones already in the market, so I think the conversation will transaction to applications and what consumers can do with 5G. That’s exciting- to have more actual product demonstrations of what 5G can do.
Given the year we have been through, I also believe we will see technology that is a product of our current situation. Health and wellness will take centerstage this year in a way we have not seen. Solutions for keeping people safely at a distance (maybe via smartphone apps) or allowing them to see doctors remotely from the comfort of the home. Lastly, I think automotive and autonomous mobility will be another big story this year (as it is each year) for a related reasons- that this idea of movement and commuting has totally changed for people- and how might that change the way we think about autonomous vehicles.
BK: For an event that is so sensory, how will CTA pull off a virtual affair?
BA: I love the content each year at CES- the panels, presentations, keynotes. This year I think attendees will have more opportunity to take in all this great stuff that they can’t get to for some reason (presumably because they are like me, speed walking through the hall to a meeting). Also, everyone gets to experience CES from their homes- a new experience. I’m ready to embrace this year’s edition. I know how dedicated everyone at CTA is to CES so I have no doubt the show will be great this year.
BK: Do you anticipate any new innovations will surface this year that may have been spurned on due to the pandemic?
BA: Key themes around safety and proximity (how can people connect and engage but do so at a distance from each other) and telehealth will be the biggest pandemic connected stories. Something like contact tracing, which is done via apps on smartphones, is a technology solution to the pandemic. And work, many of us have spent months now working from home- I’m looking for any innovations around how people and organizations work virtually in this new era.
BK Healthcare has been a growing category for years and I’m guessing this will be even bigger?
BA: Health and wellness is a trend we see every year at the show but it takes on added importance this year. I think we will see products and services around telehealth really surge this year.
BK: What will we see out of the automotive sector and has it slowed with less commute patterns?
BA: I don’t think it has slowed down, but I think companies are activiely planning for how the emergence from the pandemic changes consumers and their interest in mobility. Could we see more mobility options focused on single riders? Perhaps some innovations around cleaning and sanitizing vehicles inside after use? I think this industry continues its very rapid pace of development but I agree the change in commuting patterns is something to contend with. It could be that our ‘new normal’ is a return to commuting, but on different hours in the day, or maybe fewer days a week. Things to consider, but nothing I feel will knock this industry off track.
BK: What categories have grown in light of the pandemic?
BA: 2020 was about keeping people productive and entertained at home. In 2020 we saw historic sales of big screen TVs as consumers hunkered down and binge watched their favorite shows and movies. Gaming was huge this year- gaming computers grew an astounding X% in 2020. With everyone working at home and multiple families needing their own PC and accessories, it was a big year for anything that enables productivity from home.
BK :How will audio be represented?
BA: I think we will see more new innovations around voice and digital assistants, but I believe the story this year in audio will be how it enhances these in-home content experiences consumers are having. Sales of big screen TVs has never been higher. We are in an age of bountiful content (with all you can stream video and music libraries and the popularity of podcasts) audio is right there.