2006 Predictions

aka, everyone else is doing it, so I might as well too.

2005 was a very interesting year in terms of new companies hitting the street, new ideas popping up, and new technologies hitting or approaching critical mass. 2006 should be much of the same, but with some new twists. So here is my semi-organized list in response to all the others, for all of you to enjoy:

  1. Audio will take off. No, not just ipod and mp3 sales, but everything related to them. Since almost everyone has an mp3 player of some sort (if they don’t they can get them practically free [heck, my bank gives them away for opening new accounts]). Since everyone will have audio players they will be looking to fill them up even more. So podcasting will REALLY take off.1B. Podcasting: Podcasting will hit mainstream as people associate it more with free content they can get via iTunes and yahoo and maybe AOL (this is another potential buying spree waiting to happen, don’t forget they own winamp). Podcasting numbers will go through the roof, especially when record labels start making deals with podcast networks to license their music as a clip of some kind. This will allow for a wider variety of content and more radio-like radio shows.
    With this new dearth of programming though, someone will have to pay for it…. 😉
  2. Video will START to get big. In 2005 video sharing started to get a lot of players, but still hasn’t hit mainstream. The reason: decent video cameras are still expensive. Now that more digital cameras are getting quick video clip capabilities, then we will see more and more people turning to “flickr-like” services to share these funny little clips. However don’t expect to see a flood of amateur video that has been edited and cleaned up (remember iMovie is still Mac only, for now.)
  3. Blog revenues will not be purely text ads. Bloggers will learn that a good revenue stream is not limited to a sole revenue stream. Also with click fraud skyrocketing, smart bloggers will hedge their bets on other sources, expect more people to build mini-stores using affiliate programs and other contextually relative forms of revenue. Bloggers will also start new parts of their website that bring in more people related to what they are covering (something that they should’ve been doing for ages).3B. ProBlogging will catch on even more. Darren Rowse and company will create their own mini-conference, charging $1000 a day, and keeping o’reilly and the other major companies out of the revenue stream.
  4. VOIP will gain even more ground, phone numbers using voip service of some kind will grow by 50%, but revenues will only grow by 10-15%. The real winners will be those companies that make voip seamless, and show people how to hook up their entire house telephone system to their new voip box.
  5. The spread of mashups for no particular financial reason will slow. However, people will start mashing up other applications into their own (i.e. google/yahoo maps will become expected in an interface).5B. Google and yahoo will start making some serious dough off of these mashups-in-an-app setups. They will also make it practically drag and drop easy to add their services.
  6. Weblogs, Inc. will put out a magazine for engadget, basically a 2 week digest of their posts. It will be published by Time Warner.
  7. Podcasts will take off (I am repeating this because it will have a second wave in the 3Q).
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