Trends come and go but themes stay for much longer and have a much broader influence on society, culture and the tech landscape.
The six themes are (click to read the detailed breakdown):
- AI Backlash
- Streaming struggles
- Professional Athletes investment
- Web3 and the longest crypto winter
- Bundling of newsletters, podcasts and creators
- New sports leagues
Below are the themes are broken down into detail for 2023, the what they are and the why they are going to be important must-read articles supporting and informing you moving forward.
Generative AI backlash
What: Generative AI is curating text answers and images based on commands and photos you upload to them to add avatars or cartoons.
FWIW I predict we will have to learn the commands that generate the best results for generative AI it will be like a superpower in 2023.
Why? Generative AI is already popular but often returns poor results or overly sexualised imagery. With more tools and more eyeballs on this space, we will likely see more curated results hit with backlash alongside the art generation piece being questioned by at a large scale.
Streaming Wars Hangover
What: How many services are you signed up for? Many people are rightly fatigued by streaming players and the vast number of them available; Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video +++ are all popular and available in most countries and in many households, with the majority struggling to make money and even support it with advertising. So the consumer has to pay for bad models.
FWIW Apple TV+ is likely winning from a price and quality standpoint.
There will be many that lose customers with their move away from bingeing content and slow months of content, we will see many move from service to service for the best content for them versus having every streaming service. Paramount+ to Disney+, Apple TV+ for Ted Lasso to Amazon Prime Video for the next big book remake.
Why? Too many players are copying each other when it comes to charging more for no more quality content and the ads-supported model will fizzle out for many as no one wants to pay for ads, that’s why Netflix worked. Ads aren’t a premium service and will make people feel like it’s TV not an escape from having to watch “live”. Expect us as consumers to reduce our subscriptions and move towards jumping for shows. Maybe streaming services should have retention/reward-based pricing…just an idea
Athletes VC funds and firms
What: We are seeing more and more athletes invest in companies versus being sponsored by them. Despite the FTX scandal with numerous athletes and former athletes involved, we will see a move where brands and startups take on investment in exchange for % of their company from wealthy athletes and ex-pros.
Why? Athletes are becoming business people and their investments are press worthy and can bring a lot of attention to the brand. We will see many more athletes spend their time investing in businesses for potentially high returns and remove the demand for long-term contracts and numerous endorsement deals that will be reduced in 2023 with macroeconomic changes.
- Cricketer VC Investments
- Sports Sponsorship Year In Review
- LeBron James Investments // Serena Williams Investments
BTW keep an eye out for more actors like Ryan Reynolds going into investment, ownership and promotion, it is going to be a great time for creative investments, not endorsements.
Long Web3 Crypto Winter
What: Crypto and all of the scandals that have happened over the last couple of years are really negatively impacting how Crypto is seen and how people are investing or not investing in crypto and web3 right now.
Why? Bad press, negative deals and bad investments have all hit the headlines and rightly so. A long winter is likely to happen unless someone big buys huge amounts of crypto and openly supports it regularly. It’s been bad reading and listening for the last couple of years and it won’t change, especially with so much money leaving the space in the last two weeks.
Bundling Of Newsletters & Video Creators
What: Newsletters and video creators create huge amounts of content but this competes against so many other creators. My newsletter alone will compete against all of your other emails and your time. Imagine the millions of pieces of content that are not combined in any way or you cannot find others like me or opposite to me and enjoy their content too.
Why? There is too much competition, too hard to discover and find the best content for you, despite what TikTok and social networks do they cannot surface every great piece of content. What we will see is newsletter and video creators combining forces and joining bundles, to grow their audience, grow their potential reach and grow their opportunities with sponsors and subscriptions.
- Every (creators bundle)
- Ben Thompson (must listen) turning into bundles not just solo analysis
- Workweek.com – bundling well-known newsletters, with the Twitter famed Trung Phan
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Richer Social (Media) Experiences
What: We are craving some deeper connections, safe spaces where we can engage in conversation and discuss things in deeper ways, many just don’t see it and we waste time (not invest time) across social media. With the newer platforms like Post(.news) and LinkedIn’s approach to discussion and build experiences on top of their product, there is a real gap for a platform to think more deeply and critically at the gap and enable better social media experiences not just follow and like or follow and comment and be ignored by the creator. Blast and ignore across social will likely be removed by the next platform.
Why? Social media has stagnated over the last few years. We have seen every network copy each other and innovation basically dies. TikTok is really an entertainment platform competing mostly against YouTube for time spent and investment made against content. We will have to see a movement away from old platforms and limiting reach for advertising. Baked in AI is almost a given at this point, an important; however, many need human connection, not avatar and content creator connection.
Evolving Sports Leagues
What: Fresher Sports Leagues are exploding in popularity. Sports like Pickleball and Lacrosse are two prime examples of smart positioning and real investment in making real change within participation and viewership.
Pickleball investors in teams include shark tank judge and investor Mark Cuban, athletes from LeBron James to (tennis superstar) Naomi Osaka to quarterback goat Tom Brady have brought into teams, alongside Bud who invested in a team in late 2022.
One of the oldest sports on record lacrosse has also seen huge investment lacrosse (with the creation of the Premier Lacrosse League) investment has come from The Chernin Group, WWE (yes the Wrestling product and platform), and Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures. Lacrosse is seen as an elite sport but needs a platform and partners to really push it forward.
Why? Investment opportunities are massive, a chance to reshape sports and get in early has huge ROI potential. It is also an opportunity to grow something that is so well loved until the college level and has the potential to reshape how you see and experience sports (support a player (like in the NBA and how kids love soccer) not just a big team or the teams winning). We we will see the likes of players, and successful coaches invest in the league and teams and make long-term investments into something that is more than a business or tech products.
- Bud Investment Into Pickleball
- Video: Paul Rabil Talks Lacrosse League From Beginnings To The Next Big League (Or watch above)
- YouTube + NFL
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