Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2018

The Report

"Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions 2018" reveals the perspectives gained from hundreds of conversations with industry leaders, and tens of thousands of consumer interviews conducted across the globe. Our objective with TMT Predictions is to identify critical inflection points that we believe can inform strategic thinking in the industry, and to explain the impact these points can have over the next 5 years for companies in Technology, Media, Telecommunications (TMT), and other industries.


Viewpoints / key findings

Augmented reality: on the cusp of reality

  • Over a billion smartphone users will create augmented reality (AR) content at least once in 2018, with three hundred million being monthly creators and tens of millions making and sharing content weekly.
  • The improvements of software and hardware along with the support from government policies has provided an excellent ecosystem for AR to be broadly applied on device, which will definitely lead the era of AR+ in China.

Live thrives in an online world

  • Live broadcast and events will generate $545 billion in direct revenue in 2018. The vast majority ($537 billion, or 98.5 percent) of live revenues are forecast to come from traditional sectors, with the remainder from live streaming and eSports.
  • Live content - across broadcast and events – will remain compelling and lucrative in 2018, and there are multiple ways in which digital tools can be used to enhance the appeal of live content and events.
  • China is likely to remain the largest market for live streaming in 2018, viewers are likely to reach 456 million.

Artificial Intelligence extends to more areas

  • Artificial intelligence is going through the 3rd wave of rapid development, leveraging the technologies of deep learning, image recognition and speech recognition to transform the industries with the ever unprecedented "destructive force".

Machine learning: things are getting intense

  • In 2018, large and medium-sized enterprises will intensify their use of machine learning. The number of implementations and pilot projects using the technology will double compared with 2017.
  • The five vectors of automating data science, reducing the need for training data, accelerating training, explaining results, and deploying locally will intensify the machine learning progress.

Digital media: the subscription prescription

  • By the end of 2018, 50 percent of adults in developed countries will have at least two online-only media subscriptions, and by the end of 2020, that average will have doubled to four.
  • In China, the memberships of online video sites has soared. Chinese audiences have been involving in the habit of paying for viewing videos, which will generate large amount of revenues.

The future of the smartphone: the era of invisible innovation

  • Over the next five years, the smartphone market should continue to grow in penetration, usage, unit shipments, total value and ASP.
  • Unlike the previous improvements of mobile phone appearance, the smartphone’s success in the future is likely to be the introduction of an array of innovations that are largely invisible. Thanks to enhanced connectivity, processors, sensors, software, artificial intelligence and memory, the smartphones will be easier to use and improved functionality.

Smartphones are useful, but they can be distracting

  • 45 percent of global adult smartphone users in 2018 will worry they are using their phones too much for certain activities, and 45 percent of all adult smartphone users will try to limit their phone usage in various ways – from employing high-tech apps that measure or limit usage to sticking their device in a drawer.
  • In China, more than 70 percent of smartphone users are trying or willing to limit their phone usage.

Fasten your seatbelts: in-flight connectivity takes off

  • In 2018, about a quarter of the total passenger journeys on planes will be on aircraft equipped with in-flight connectivity (IFC). IFC revenue for airlines should be close to $1 billion.
  • Chinese operators would cooperate with devices providers, aviation maintenance companies and other related companies to gain ground in the IFC market.

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