It's a brave new world out there for marketers - especially when youth is your focus. Here's a handy list of what's on the horizon for 2014 and beyond in terms of digital trends, user engagement, advertising, and gaming.
<ul><li>1.12 Global Trends in Youth Engagement in 2014 Apr 8, 2014 </li></ul><p>2. DIGITAL DIMENSIONALITY 3. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 312 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 1. Digital Dimensionality Interactive out-of-home advertising, mobile apps augmented reality that add a contextual layer to physical spaces, and the crowd sharing of an event via social media, are just a few of the elements that contribute to Digital Dimensionality. Youth experiences like concerts or retail in-store events are amplified when technology adds a whole new dimension to the experience. The high costs of experiential marketing start to pay off when the Digital Dimensionality is applied, as a brand impression can become a digital engagement, a social broadcast, and even the start of a long and profitable eCRM relationship. This is the world that youth live in today, who now expect their real-world experiences in any location to be enhanced by the smartphone in their hand. Topshopss augmented reality dressing room provides a useful service and doubles as a showpiece of Digital Dimensionality that adds value to the consumer experience. Fuel Industries 2014 4. THE CONNECTIVITY CONTAGION 5. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 512 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 2. The Connectivity Contagion Likely the most-observed trend emerging in 2014, Googles $3.2 Billion purchase of the connected home technology brand, NEST, opened the year as concrete proof that the Internet is about to take a giant step into connected devices in everything from diapers to your toaster and even your light bulb. Wearable and embedded, the Internet in everything is transforming the world our youth live in. Where Millennials grew up as digital natives and saw the explosion of mobile and Internet on-the-go, its absolutely clear that the next generation will see connected devices become mainstream, interacting with them in their daily life. The only question is if the smartphone will still be the console that manages all the connected devices in their lives in the future. From nurturing toys like the Sense Mother, to everyday objects like the Kolibree toothbrush, the Internet is coming to everything. This generation will experience The Connectivity Contagion. Fuel Industries 2014 6. CONTENT CONGLOMERATION 7. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 712 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 3. Content Conglomeration As youth continue to move away from the mass media outlets of the past, brands continue to move into the role of content creators. In the past, marketers funded entertainment content through advertising. But the real value was in the content. For youth today, they only know a world where content-is-advertising, and where digital channels either create content to get their attention, or curate the best content and make it easy to absorb and share. This has given rise to a slew of powerful digital news outlets for youth like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, while propelling the advertising free on-demand nature of Netflix and HBO to become youth entertainment brands of choice. To engage youth today is to become a compelling content curator AND creator. Brands who deliver on this are going to own a generation for years to come. This generation is growing up in a world where the brands they use provide them with the content they love. On any platform. On-demand. Fuel Industries 2014 8. PROLIFERATION OF CONNECTED TOYS Fuel Industries 2014 9. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 912 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 4. Proliferation of Connected Toys With many successes but few hits, connected toys like Skylanders, Disney Infinity and the new generation of Furby will become more and more prevalent in the toy aisle and the everyday lives of youth. While overall toy sales were down slightly in 2013, tablets and mobile devices and the apps that kids want them for are screaming with potential for a new wave of toys that interact with them. 2014 will see a new wave of innovations and our expectation is that more of these will stick with consumers as toy manufacturers learn from missteps and emergent startups step into the limelight. Toy shelves will feel the change to; as well see even traditional toys and games make the leap to digital. From toys that teach kids how to program, to digital experiences requiring traditional toys, to new technologies that bring a toy to life in new ways, no other category is set for total transformation in the lives of youth than toys. Furby might still be a little creepy, but hes more relevant than ever. Innovative technology in digitally connect toys, like Furbys high-frequency audio signals, will reinvent the category. Fuel Industries 2014 10. MONETIZATION MOVES Fuel Industries 2014 11. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 1112 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 5. Monetization Moves In light of Apples multi-million dollar refund to the tune of over $32 million US, driven by livid parents whose children were given the ability to rack up credit card bills via games, the freemium model for apps has taken a significant hit. Along with it, the change in COPPA rules that went into effect on July 1, 2013 requires clear gates around in-app purchases for mobile apps. These groundswells are changing how apps are monetized. From Star Wars to Disney to Nickelodeon, major content providers are increasingly challenged in generating revenue from their digital products. So to create compelling digital products and make money, monetization is critical. So whats a brand to do? Go back to the paid software model with a set price and bring more value to in- app purchases. Although this is the trend, we do see alternative forms of monetization on the horizon, such as tying digital apps or virtual rewards to physical products for a stronger overall consumer value. Paid apps are becoming more necessary as part of the monetization trend combined with in-app purchases as a more attractive (and transparent) storefront for parents. Fuel Industries 2014 12. SOCIAL GETS FOCUSED 13. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 1312 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 6. Social Gets Focused A recent focus group of 9-12 year olds revealed a pattern of disinterest in Facebook, something reflected in recent news stories around the decline of Facebook with teens. While crying the death of is usually more valuable as a headline than an actionable insight, we are seeing a shift from the single Swiss-army knife-like social platform to more mobile driven, single utility applications. New apps like We Heart It, Jelly, Thumb, Whisper, and Backchat (created by a 14 year old), are joining SnapChat, Vine, Instagram, and Twitter to offer social media functionality in a simpler and more streamlined mobile product, perfectly tuned to the next generation. Innovative markets and fickle consumers have a habit of destroying monopolies, and thats likely what 2014 will see more of as tech upstarts vie to do that one thing much better than Facebooks everything. As Millennials were the generation of Facebook, the next generation are looking to besomething else. Backchat, We Heart It, Snapchat, and Whisper are just a few of the apps changing the way youth use social media. Fuel Industries 2014 14. TABLET DEMOCRATIZATION TABLET DEMOCRATIZATION 15. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 1512 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 7. Tablet Democratization Tablets just became as cheap as basic eBook readers, and theyre about to get a lot cheaper. In fact, new Android tablets hitting the market in 2014 are set to cost as low as a college textbook. Proliferation of these internet-enabled, do-everything, music-mixing, game- playing, movie-showing personal devices are going to become evident in 2014 as we truly move from a two- screen world to a three-screen one. With e-textbooks and school districts adopting digital classrooms, like LA Unified School Districts recent purchase of iPads for all students, books are going to inch closer to a novelty. For youth today, that means a transformation of textbooks, books and magazines to a platform that global youth own as digital natives. It will propel content creation and publishing from their generation and we expect tweens and teens to become the next global media mogul. The window to every youth consumer is available to those who know it best. New Android tablets now in the $40-$120 price range are driving even greater proliferation amongst global youth with use in the home, school, and everywhere. Fuel Industries 2014 16. REHUMANIZING FAMILY MOMENTS Fuel Industries 2014 17. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 1712 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 8. Rehumanizing Family Moments Screen fatigue from families and a desire for authentic family moments in the home are creating a desire for authentic family moments. While the new generation of these experiences will likely still include a digital element, the fundamental premise of re-connecting face-to-face is going to grow in 2014. The whoever-grabs-their-phone- first-from-the-stack pays game at restaurants is a good example of this trend becoming popularized as is the appeal of board games. With youth it means growing up in a world where technology can be the center of family connectivity. We are predicting 2014 to be the year of the Smart TV, where an app enabled living room experience begins to provide apps for kids to play together with their families. Brands should take advantage of this insight now with apps that enable real family moments. Yupfamilies are getting sick of this. A device for every member of the home is bringing a desire for authentic family moments. Its an insight that drives a tremendous opportunity for any family brand. Fuel Industries 2014 18. THE 3D PRINTED HOME Fuel Industries 2014 19. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 1912 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 9. The 3D Printed Home 3D printers are getting less expensive. What happens when a toy manufacturer introduces a simple 3D printer for the home that allows kids to make their own toys? What happens when HP enters the home 3D printer market with the same financial model as ink jets (revenue on the cartridge, not the printer)? What happens when consumers flood the market with their 3D printing files like allowing fans to print Happy Meal toys for themselves? As more brands continue to experiment with campaigns that use fast-to-market custom products, 3D printers have captured our pop culture consciousness, creating an even greater desire for our own creations. Although were not quite expecting mass-market 3D printer adoption in every home in 2014, we expect were going to get there soon. And what does that mean for the next generation? One way or another, this generation will be shaped by 3D printing. Product creation and manufacturing for every child will empower youth in ways weve never seen before. Fuel Industries 2014 20. IMMERSIVE GAMING 21. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 2112 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 10. Immersive Gaming From the new Oculus Rift Crystal Cove prototype to the freshly-funded Avegant Glyph, new VR technology is giving youth an immersive gaming experience like never before. Rift (as its affectionately called) features greatly improved positional-tracking capabilities and a crisp new OLED display that is being hailed as the future. This has game developers excited, with Doom 4 in development and titles such as Minecraft, Battlefield 3, and Half-Life 2 rumored to be on the way. Another VR innovation, the Avegant Glyph looks like a pair of headphones, but it goes way beyond audio, using micro mirror rays to reflect light directly onto your retinas when pulled down over your eyes for an incredible pixel-free viewing experience. Imagine a world where every pair of headphones is like a 4K screen inside your head! If youre a young gamer, its not fantasy, its what you want for your birthday this year. The new Oculus Rift Crystal Cove wowed at this years CES. The applications for VR devices is already stunning onlookers and paints a picture of a future filled with unpredictable uses. Fuel Industries 2014 22. THE DIGITAL ARTISAN 23. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 2312 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 11. The Digital Artisan While the term artisan may conjure images of a Brooklyn hipster wearing coveralls baking bread in a Pret A Manger, the digital artisan economy represents the millions of youth globally who are making their own products and selling them online. With Etsy, Shopify, Square and Square Market, and Kickstarter providing the tools to help young entrepreneurs easily fund, promote, sell and distribute their products, digital artisans are driving a new way to turn their hobbies into successful careers. At the heart is product creation, and the idea that any young person can create art or products that can find a market. The empowerment needed to think that way, and the technology needed to make it accessible, has merged at this particular point and time. For this generation, its not only possible but its likely that something they create can attract fans and make money. Millennials grew up understanding that they could take control, for the next generation, control is a given. They are driving their own success. Etsy is one of the ways that creative individuals are making their visions a reality. Youth are experiencing a world where great digital tools allow their creative aspirations to turn into a business career. Fuel Industries 2014 24. THE ONE DIMENSIONAL 3D TV 25. 12 Global Trends in Digital Engagement in 2014 Private and Confidential; Not for Distribution 2512 Global Trends in Youth Engagement 2014 12. The One Dimensional 3D TV While 3D movies continue to bring more money into the studios via increased ticket costs in theaters, at home, 3D television still isnt in high demand. Back in 2012, only 115,000 U.S. households even watched a 3D broadcast. With experts saying everyone who wanted a 3D TV already has one, the outlook shifts towards continuing to sell more connected smart screens. Youth behavior patterns arent exactly helping the outlook for 3D: shorter attention spans, TVs being used as the second screen to a phone or tablet, and the general willingness to get content on any size screen at any time...</p>