For the past several years, the hardtracking staff has dedicated itself to chronicling the “ad creep” in news and entertainment media: Stealthy native advertising in online publications from BuzzFeed to the New York Times; shameless product placement in TV shows like Bones and Hawaii Five-0; brand journalism in all kinds of media; and etc.

Now comes this piece in NewsCred that squeezes all of the above into the category of content. (Tip o’ the pixel to MediaPost’s Center for Media Research.)

17 Marketing Influencer Predictions for 2015

Companies got serious about content marketing, brands and publishers embraced native advertisingmillennials were pushed into the spotlight, and big data made it possible for content creators to figure out exactly whom they were targeting. More than ever, marketers focused on providing valuable content to their consumers, and making it accessible on every platform, including mobile. With companies globally spending an estimated $135 billion on content marketing in 2014, staying ahead of the curve and seeing down the road isn’t only wise creatively — it’s essential financially and strategically. So what will content look and act like in the near future? We asked our favorite marketing thought-leaders to tell us what they see in store for 2015.

Among the highlights:

• Doug Kessler (@dougkessler), Creative Director and Co-Founder of B2B agency Velocity, predicts, “indy media that doesn’t take native ads will rise again.”

• “We’ll see clearer definitions and get a better understanding of social native ads, native display, and custom sponsorships . . .”  Tom Channick, head of communications at Sharethrough, says.

Among the lowlights:

•  “Soon, many of the top media sites in the world will be brand-owned,” says Kessler.

•  Daniel Burstein, director of editorial content at MECLABS, says, “In the same way that marketing automation, email marketing, analytics, software, etc. are all converging into one end-to-end marketing platform (usually in the cloud), companies and content creators will converge as well. More brands will become publishers, more publishers will become marketing agencies, and more marketing agencies will become brands.”

And just gobbledegook:

Melissa Breker, co-founder of Content Strategy Inc., says, “We will see content as an experience. We need to think past silo-based content and use customer journeys to determine how content can create different experiences. What we’re looking to do is create a great experience across all content touch points.”

So, to recap: There will be more stealth marketing in every aspect of media. Brands and publishers and marketing agencies will be allsmushedtogether. And a few indy media will be the lone holdouts.

Call it the winter of our dis content.

John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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