By Fahad Ali, Founder and CEO, Broomstick Creative

2022 comes to an end, and what a year has it been! The end of the Pandemic in most of parts of the world, tech titans falling and buckling (The news of FTX had just started trickling in when I sat down to write this piece) and newer figures emerging  in the tech space.

As we sit down with our peers and gaze into the crystal ball,  we are pacing ourselves to see what the new year has in store for us, specially in the Digital Content and Engagement Space.

My list, and a very short one, might prove to be a great starting point for many in this space, but it is by no means an exhaustive one.

  • Tool – driven Content Creation  and the Redefinition of careers

With the evolution of tools like Canva, Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Motion Array etc. and with the advent of countless native content creation apps for mobile phones, the demand for quick, polished and sleek content has never been higher. This poses a challenge to the content creation industry across the globe, which will and already is adapting and switching to automated tools that replace redundant content creation tasks. There was a time when ready-made templates, effects and visual packs were shunned upon by the purists in the industry. But with more and more content creators being able to churn out great video content from just their mobile phones, the industry needs to brace for a change, where the reliance on content creators who can work off tools, churn out great videos from nimble hardware setups (phones in most cases) will just increase manifold.

  • OTT Advertising – Media planners’ delight or nightmare?

This Industry led paradigm shift for advertisers is expected. Questions are still being raised about as to how prolific advertising shall be for OTT creators, The answer is simple – You will build (content) and they shall come! The viewership numbers speak for themselves, and I’m sure the industry is just waiting to hear about the prices on this menu list.

  • More brands will work out how to engage in the Metaverse.. by how much? Still anyone’s guess.

The industry just can’t stop talking about the metaverse. This romance will continue to blossom in 2023. More brands will jump on the bandwagon, however, with caution. The metaverse is still being unraveled as we speak, and use cases with great ROIs are still not easy to come by. As brands continue to dabble around in this space, we will see more concrete data emerge, which will prove to be a motivator for others. Whilst I don’t foresee first movers getting immense financial advantage in this space, such is the nature of this phenomenon, they will however get better understanding of engagement, exposure and recruitment of users. A captive audience in the metaverse is a sure shot winner as things stand today.

  • Regional Stock Photo – A Gaping hole!

More relevant to the UAE and the region, global stock footage and image libraries have still failed to deliver on the lines of richness and accurate representation of the region. I foresee other players entering this space. This will also emerge as pent up derived demand from my earlier point on more ‘Tool-Driven’ content creation becomes paramount.

  •  AI generated visual content – The Self Fulfilling Prophecy

The advent of Machine learning modules like Midjourney, DALL.E has revolutionized how content creators are harnessing the power of AI to create images literally out of their imagination. As modules become more powerful, and the data sets become larger and enriched, AI generated visual content will move into commercial mainstream. Rather than just vivid and rich images of someone’s creative interpretation, I foresee more commercial use cases emerging, and fairly soon. The frequency with which custom and branded content is now needed to fulfill the appetite of prevalent and ever enriched social media channels, this seems to be the most efficient and ‘intelligent’ way to go.