PARIS — The end of 2010 was greeted with relief by many media companies. “Not as bad as 2009” was a common refrain. Advertising bounced back more strongly than expected, led by television. Experiments in charging for digital content held out the hope of a brighter future for publishers.
In the digital world, last year saw explosive growth in the development of mobile applications. On the Web, however, it was a year of what might euphemistically be called transition: Yes, ad revenue grew strongly, but Internet companies also had to contend with stepped-up scrutiny on issues like competition and privacy. And some fretted that the growth of applications, pay sites and other “walled gardens” would fragment the Web.
What does 2011 hold for the media and digital communications businesses? Here are a few predictions — gathered from the proverbial people who insist on anonymity, in this case because they do not actually exist.