Five Emerging Media Channels Ready For Growth in 2023

Audio, gaming, live shopping, in-game advertising, and niche social communities serve consumers by meeting them where they are more seamlessly.

Post-2020, disruption is the one sentiment echoed throughout advertising and media. For some, that disruption brought about new ways of doing business and enhanced the adtech or start-up ecosystem. For others, specifically media planners and buyers, new ways of reaching consumers became critical, as those consumers changed nearly every aspect of their lives over the last few years. 

From how they connect with others to how they make everyday purchases to how they spend their time, consumer interests are evolving, and “being advertised to” is not what it once was. 

As a result, emerging media channels have popped up to address the collective disruption we’ve experienced and the change in consumer preferences and behavior. 

Audio, gaming, live shopping, in-game advertising, and niche social communities serve consumers by meeting them where they are more seamlessly. They also allow well-known, established brands to shake up their media planning and buying strategies. 

These are the trends we’ll likely see continue into 2023: 

Audio & Influencers

With over two million podcasts worldwide and several million active listeners across the globe, podcasting has grown steadily since the early 2000s. However, the sharp rise in podcasting advertising opportunities for brands directly resulted from more people seeking out entertainment, education, and information while under lockdowns or quarantine. 

In 2022, podcasts have become part of consumers’ lifestyles and are now part of the everyday lexicon and conversation. “Have you heard the latest?” is the new “have you watched the latest?” 

From sponsorship to native ad placement, advertising and collaboration with podcast and audio influencers are trends we anticipate will grow into 2023. 

Gaming & Women

While many people incorrectly assume that gamers are young and male, female representation within gaming as an industry has increased dramatically over the last few years. Within gaming communities, it’s clear that women are equally interested and qualified as popular male gamers to bring awareness and attention to brands and products through sponsorship and partnership. 

In addition to sponsorship opportunities, there is a unique position for brands that work with women in gaming to showcase core brand values through advertising sponsorships and help change the conversation, as well as promote the advocacy efforts of these streaming queens. 

Live shopping & Social

Because traditional retail experiences were closed off to the public for so long, the last few years saw the rise of live shopping apps. Livestreaming eCommerce can be a comprehensive solution for brands to build a promotion around a product, specifically the launch of a new product, as well as increase brand awareness and directly impact sales. 

Highlighting products in real-time generates excitement, increases interest, and provides the right amount of FOMO that can impact brand sales outside a traditional retail environment. 

In-Game Advertising

In-game advertising takes its cue from smart product placement within shows and films but takes it to a new level with more custom opportunities to make a brand or product front-and-center or part of the overall story arc within a complex game world: something traditional product placement cannot do. 

And unlike other traditional forms of advertising, captive consumers are less likely to “skip” the advertisement since many do not multitask or do other things while plugged into a gaming environment. 

Diverse audience social communities

As trust in traditional social media networks declines, these tech giants face an identity crisis: evolve or become irrelevant. As such, there is an opportunity for smaller, more niche social communities to step up to the plate. 

Social innovation can be seen in many of these smaller networks gaining traction among specific audiences: teens are increasing their use of apps like BeReal or Gas, while the LGBTQ+ communities find their own safe spaces in apps created to cater to a demographic looking for shared interests and authentic connections beyond what Meta, Twitter, or TikTok can provide. 

Where will you invest in 2023? 

Because consumers have different expectations from brands in 2022, the next several months will be a game-changer for companies willing to be industry-first or go all-in to reach demographics who may not respond to traditional advertising channels. 

Advertisers should pay attention to these emerging media channels to retain relevance, build awareness and connection, and ultimately increase sales, while being more integrated into consumers’ everyday lives. 

At Whisk, we pride ourselves in connecting brands to their target audience in exciting, ground-breaking ways. Interested in any of these categories mentioned? We’re excited to connect with you and to see how we can work together