Next Generation Digital Media Trends

The world of digital media is fast moving and dynamic, and in 2023 we find ourselves amidst the largest shake-up to this landscape in over a decade. From the decline of Twitter as the internet’s de-facto ‘town square’, to the rise of AI, and changing legislation in the realm of iGaming, we’re witnessing the rise of new trends and approaches the likes of which we haven’t seen since the disruptions ushered in by the arrival of the mass-market smartphone.


But what are the most pressing trends that keen eyed entrepreneurs and creatives alike ought to keep an eye on today? Let’s take a look below.

New Legislative Landscapes

There are many factors that impact media trends, from new technologies, to emergent fashions – but few can make as big an impact as government legislation. In recent years we’ve seen a number of high profile decisions taken both in the US and beyond that have markedly impacted the growth and development of specific strains of digital media.

Take, for example, the decision by Apple – the world’s largest big tech company, and the organization behind the immensely successful iPhone – to provide ‘opt-in’ features for advertising trackers on their devices. Almost overnight, this decision wiped billions off the stock market value off of Meta, the Mark Zuckerberg-helmed social media empire that comprises WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

What some fail to recognize is that, at its root, Meta is an advertising company that profits from selling user data to third parties. By placing restrictions on their ability to generate high quality and sale-able data from iPhone users opting out of advertising, Meta’s short-term growth has stalled and has forced it to reorient its overarching business strategy.

While some changes in legislation can harm digital media, others can contribute to their success. When the US federal bill known as PASPA was repealed in 2017, it paved the way for the legalization of sports betting and internet casino gaming by a growing number of states in the world’s largest single economy.

This has had knock on effects, with neighboring Canada – a historically more liberal market for iGaming, similarly experiencing the rise of dedicated platforms focused on providing recommendations for region-specific online casinos in the Great White North.


The Race to Replace Twitter

Twitter, recently rebranded to X by owner Elon Musk, was never a particularly lucrative enterprise, especially when compared to other social media platforms from TikTok to Facebook and YouTube. But it has always exerted an outsized influence on the public conversation thanks to its ‘town square’ mentality that lets celebrities, journalists and the general public engage with one another on a level playing field.

From the drastic downsizing of its workforce, to the introduction of a new subscription tier, it feels as if X has lurched from one scandal and PR crisis to the next in the short time that Musk has been at the helm.

At present, it’s difficult to say what will come of this situation. If X fails to entice advertisers to return to the platform, it’s predicted that it will go under within the year. This has caused many to cast about for so-called successor platforms. These range from decentralized platform Mastodon, to Meta’s own Threads application that launched in July.

Despite initial, even record-breaking success, Threads appears to have stalled and failed to retain its initial 150 million users. With Threads’ direct challenge to X seemingly faltering, brands, influencers and the general public alike are seemingly at a loss to predict what will come of the ‘microblogging’ format that Twitter introduced to such success all the way back in 2006.

Robotic Revolution

In truth, AI has been around for many years – it’s just that the recent batch of new technologies, exemplified by deep fakes, AI image generators like Midjourney, and LLMs (Large Language Models) such as ChatGPT are of an order of magnified more sophisticated than anything that came before.

This has forced the world to sit up and take notice. At present, the true extent of the disruption these new models represent is difficult to see clearly as we’re still so in the midst of their arrival. But rest assured, no single innovation or trend is going to have as marked an impact on the way we consume, produce and think about media as the coming of AI.


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