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MIDiA’s 2024 predictions: The algorithm is not listening

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Photo of Mark Mulligan
by Mark Mulligan

November is one of my favourite times of year, as an analyst anyways. Why? Because it is when the MIDiA team pool their collective brainpower to formulate our end-of-year predictions. What gives our predictions their unique angle is that they are constructed within an inter-connected framework, factoring in the cross-industry trends that will shape the coming years. A music industry trend does not happen in isolation of social media trends, nor vice versa, and so forth. We boast a solid track record, with an 88% success rate in both our 2023 and 2022 predictions, following 84% and 79% in the previous two years. The report is available to clients here. Meanwhile, here is a quick look at some of the meta (not the company) themes:

·   The algorithm is not listening anymore: This is our headline prediction and one that we think will have far reaching impact across all forms of entertainment. Algorithms on large scale platforms once super-served users, encouraging them ever closer to their respective niches. Now algorithms are increasingly pushing users to the content that supports platform monetisation priorities over user priorities. Users end up feeling that the algorithm is not listening to them anymore. This trend will accentuate in 2024 among the world’s biggest consumer platforms, resulting in user dissatisfaction and creating a window of opportunity for new, user-need-focused platforms, starting the cycle all over again.

·   Creation as consumption: If the late 2010s and early 2020s were the era of the creator, the remainder of the coming decade will become the era of the consumer creator. The proliferation of consumer-focused creator tools on major social platforms and beyond, will herald the next phase of the consumerization of creation. Not only will this see more content be user created (thus competing for consumption time), creation itself will become entertainment, thus adding to the competition for time.

·   Rise of the threataverse:  The metaverse may feel like a bus that never quite arrives, but something much more tangible is already gaining scale – the threataverse. This is the growing trend of social platforms becoming toxic environments in which diversity of opinion is transforming into intolerance, divisiveness and hate speech. Accentuated by bot farms and clandestine actors, enabled by failing platform moderation policies, social platforms are shifting from places to share opinions, to platforms where more moderate voices no longer feel safe to speak up. Threats, bullying, fake ‘facts’ and aggressive counter-commentary have created the new defining framework of the online social world – the threataverse.

·   The future will be gated communities: Change is wrought as much by reaction as it is by action. The rise of the threataverse creates the foundations for what will come next: the shift from open-social worlds into gated communities, where groups of like-minded individuals can converse safe in the knowledge that they will not be subject to abuse and attack. The early promise of ‘everywhere, everyone social’ has proven toxic and unworkable. Expect more social platforms, to ramp up gated community features. These will also prove to be a boon for fandom. Artists and other creators will be able to converse with fans without having to worry about torrents of negative discourse from users who can currently occupy and even co-opt, their open fan spaces.

·   AI will continue to reshape entertainment: While the rights framework will continue to be disputed and defined in 2024, AI technology will continue to accelerate, both in sophistication and adoption. It will find its loudest voice in the consumerization of creation but its subtler and more pervasive impact will be a steady assimilation into creative workflows, becoming an ever more utilised set of tools for creation across all forms of entertainment, from Chat GPT creating lines of code for games, through Eleven Labs generating podcast narration, to Beatoven creating soundtracks for influencer videos.

Like what you have seen so far? Then come and engage with MIDiA’s stellar analysts as they walk through their industry-specific predictions in our free-to-attend webinar, the algorithm is not listening, on the 11th of January, 2024.

You can find the full report here with 32 predictions across music, games, video, social, audio, and media and marketing.

TAGS: MIDiA predictions, 2024 predictions, tech predictions, entertainment predictions, music predictions, music industry trends, games industry trends, video industry trends, audio industry trends, social media trends, cultural trends

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