BLOG published on 29 Jan 2024

5 game-changing trends shaping online platforms in 2024

Grace Zakka, Platform Strategy Lead, EBU Media, outside EBU HQ in Geneva
Grace Zakka, Platform Strategy Lead, EBU Media

As we dive headfirst into 2024, the world of online platforms and distribution has news that will impact European public service media (PSM). Of course, Generative AI was on everyone’s lips as we closed 2023, and it will be influencing and affecting every aspect of the upcoming trends; so here are a few more changes coming our way in 2024… 

The inter-connectivity of devices

Manufacturers and tech giants are all about the “one-ness” vibe, where your smart TV, smartphone, home devices, and car will be under one system. The cool part? Your voice and smartphone will be calling the shots. Voice assistants will move from a product to a function which is integrated across all your devices. 

The Challenge for PSM:

PSM will need to put themselves at the centre of this inter-connectivity, ensuring the key PSM app is the one pulling the strings and is used directly by audiences to watch a show, listen to a podcast, ask about the news…etc. The PSM app should be the first port of entry; with the right attribution and a seamless means of access. 

The smart TV takeover

2024 will see a shift from content that was meant to be consumed on smartphones to the smart TV via apps. Watching long-form YouTube videos, online-exclusive live events, video podcasts, and some sporting events will become centralized in apps vs. linear channels or smartphones. The days of casting your smartphone to your TV has evolved to choosing smart TV apps either via smart TV manufacturers (like Samsung) or aggregators (like Apple TV / Google TV). 

The Challenge for PSM:

PSM will need to fight to be chosen, and, more importantly, to be found. Audiences need to be able to quickly find and choose PSM content via the right apps and/or skills.

Sign-in and hyper-personalization

Sign-in has become the norm as more users are getting comfortable sharing their information with platforms to receive recommendations in return. Data is the new currency; algorithms are spending it. The more data, the more they learn, the more they recommend. Data privacy laws are working in the users’ favour, and the upcoming DMA implementation will help PSMs get better access to data from 3rd parties. 

The Challenge for PSM:

Navigating the hyper-personalized world, without losing their way. The good news: PSM knows its audience and they are armed with local insights to deliver spot-on content.  

Vertical videos are the new normal

From TikTok to YouTube Shorts, vertical videos are the norm. But wait, there’s a twist. Longer formats are the new cool, with social platforms encouraging longer-form content even if it is cut up into smaller chunks! 

The Challenge for PSM:

Juggling resources and figuring out which platform to prioritize and decoding the metrics to know what’s working. 

Written socials

2023 saw Twitter transforming into X and the mess that ensued. Suddenly, journalists, news publications, and the “Twitterati” were left with practically no alternatives but to stay put and navigate the changes. With alternatives now coming through – Mastodon, Bluesky, even some new Meta products (WhatsApp Channels, Instagram Broadcast Channels, and finally Threads in Europe) – the bigger question is the future of written socials, and first access to breaking news and important announcements. Especially with upcoming elections (both in Europe and the US); the vast misinformation traps; and the increase of Gen AI. 

The Challenge for PSM:

Cutting through the noise and delivering reliable news in the chaos.

EBU Members need to buckle up for the ride, considering how much effort they’re willing to put in across platforms and devices. PSM will need to work smart, focusing on strategic goals, measuring impact, and proving their value in divisive election years.

The EBU is here to help Members find the answers to navigate this ever-evolving landscape.