Market disruption will push the media industry towards greater risk taking in 2021, predicts the DPP

The DPP has published its annual predictions. The DPP 2021 Predictions, enabled by DPP member company Zixi, were drawn up by more than 30 senior leaders from across the DPP membership. They paint a picture of an industry focused on survival and redefinition.

“The events of 2020 gave this year’s predictions a real edge,” says DPP CEO Mark Harrison. “There was consensus between suppliers and end users that we are in for a very turbulent 12 months. But they also see companies becoming more adaptable and accepting of risk in order to get through it and grow.”

As well as coming up with eight predictions, the DPP’s group of experts also consider the overall mood music that will accompany the media industry in the year ahead. For 2021 they predicted this mood music will be provided by a laser focus on innovation, resilience and adaptability; by data being put at the heart of everything; and by clearly articulated business values becoming a critical success factor in both internal and external relationships.

When it came to drawing up their eight specific predictions, the DPP’s members gave particular emphasis to four key factors:

  • As countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic, huge time and effort will be devoted to redefining the purpose of the workplace
  • The media market will be characterised by disruption and consolidation, both among media organisations and their suppliers
  • The unpredictability of consumer trends, especially as economies bounce back, will become accepted as a steady state condition
  • Companies of all kinds will show a greater preparedness for risk as they accept that inaction and delay pose a greater risk of their own

These factors will however also ensure an acceleration in the adoption and deployment of key technologies and processes, such as AI-led automation, edge computing, and distributed security measures, as the industry re-engineers itself to be more virtualised, efficient and responsive.

Gordon Brooks, CEO of Zixi, was one of the participants in the discussion. He comments that :

“The change in how we work, requiring increased virtualisation, will drive the need to understand data and workflows as they change. We’ll need to be smarter in our monitoring, prediction and prescription. This could be the year in which media accepts itself as a process led industry.”

The full DPP 2021 Predictions are available to download by both DPP members and non-members below.

They are the second of three pieces of DPP work in early 2021 that focus on innovation. The first was CES 2021: What Consumer Trends Mean for the Media Industry. The final one will be Making Innovation Pay, an original exploration of the key factors in identifying and deploying successful innovation, to be published in April.

The DPP 2021 Predictions

Each year we draw up The DPP Predictions with senior DPP members, and consider the overall mood music that will accompany the media industry in the year ahead.


In 2021 our experts painted a picture of an industry focused on survival and redefinition. They agreed that in the turbulent 12 months ahead companies will become more adaptable and accepting of risk in order to both survive and thrive.


Read the report to discover their eight key predictions for 2021.

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