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12 months in Digital Content: Our review of 2018

Written by:   Daniel Belda, VP Digital Content, Global eCom, Worldpay,  4 Jan 2019

As we start streaming ‘floor fillers’ to get 2019 off to a banging start, we also spent some time reflecting on 2018. It’s been a busy year – from developments in the crypto space, to consolidation and M&A activity in video gaming. 

We caught up with Daniel Belda, VP Digital Content, to get his take on 2018 – and his predictions for the year ahead.

1. What were your top 3 highlights of the year?

It’s a tough call, from a Worldpay perspective there was a lot to be excited about. From a Digital perspective, and in no particular order, I’d have to say…

Signs of the crypto market maturing. We saw some new use cases, particularly within video games, which could be a game changer for online consumers within this space.

The growth of subscriptions… It’s not stopping anytime soon. With digitalisation there’s been greater opportunities to personalise product and services, as well as pursue a multichannel approach that enhances a consumer’s lifetime value.

Advancements in 3DS2 development. We’ve made significant progress in our development of 3DS2 ready for the implementation of PSD2. Expect to hear a lot more about this within the couple of months of 2019.

 

2. One of last year’s key topics was virtual and augmented reality.  How do you think digital content businesses can use this to create an even more adaptive and personalized learning experience?

The online education market is one of the best suited to capitalize on the developments being made with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Providing the ability to students to immediately mix the real world, with the theory, is making for amazing innovations. For example, it is now possible to follow an engineering course on how an engine works, its components, and how it can be assembled from your own garage. New AR capabilities let you work on engine blocks in front of you, as if you were at the institute’s garage. Add that to the personalized learning experiences through gamification and you have the makings of an industry revolution.

 

3. 2018 saw the crypto space maturing and scheme rules solidifying. What opportunities does this present to digital content providers?

Although the crypto space is still in its infancy, it has matured significantly last year. As a result we are seeing more companies willing to work with crypto exchanges as the level of trust increases. I believe this will have the benefit of increased approval rates and ability to offer additional payment methods. Those customers that take advantage of these changes will ultimately be the ones leading the pack and hence reaping the benefits.

"We’re predicting that, by 2022, almost 50% of global eCommerce payments will be made by eWallet

Not only are digital content businesses adapting, but I believe they are leading the charge."

4. We’ve seen a huge wave of consolidation and M&A activity across the video gaming industry during the last 12 months.  What does this mean for 2019?

The video gaming industry is entering an exciting period. The long period of M&A and internal focus that was required for integration and consolidation seems to be coming to an end. In 2019, we should see this industry focus on external outputs, showcasing innovation from newly combined tech hubs. On another note, the desire in this industry to work with distributed ledgers, and cryptocurrencies for gamers to use across multiple platforms, is definitely a space to watch.

 

5. We’re predicting that, by 2022, almost 50% of global eCommerce payments will be made by eWallet.  Do you think digital content businesses are adapting to this growth?

Not only are digital content businesses adapting, but I believe they are leading the charge. With most companies in this space, having a mobile first mentality (with many being mobile only), the use of eWallets has become the leading way to provide consumers with a frictionless payment experience. The rise of eWallets is partly down to the versatility of developers within. Their next challenge is to support the trend of recurring transactions, although ‘clunky’ at present, once this is done in a cohesive way, the growth of eWallets will soar.

 

6. Which companies do you think are doing interesting things in the digital content space?

The ‘digital’ space is broad, and there are so many companies doing interesting things - it’s tough to single out a few, but I’ll name some that immediately spring to mind.

I’m curious to see the continued innovation that comes from (on demand) companies like Rappi, which have shaken up the delivery space in Latin America. I’m also excited by traditional companies like Arkadin exploring new business models. The historic one-off sale businesses moving to a subscription or recurring businesses model is creating new opportunities, as well as value for consumers.

The disruption of education industry is interesting; companies like Coursera and edX are changing the curriculum by offering micro degrees, and creating stepping stones to a full degree at a physical institution.

Many digital content providers are the ones fuelling the ‘now economy’, so not only are they benefiting from it, but to a degree helping it along its way. 

Learn more in our Global Payments Report.

7. Our latest Global Payment report focuses on the growth of the ‘now economy’.  How does this benefit digital content providers, and how can they take advantage of this?

Many digital content providers are the ones fuelling the ‘now economy’, so not only are they benefiting from it, but to a degree helping it along its way. Instant gratification / delivery is something digital content businesses are, in my view, uniquely able to deliver on. The real question here is not how they benefit from it, but how will they cope with the consumer desire to have things immediately, personalized and securely? Striking the correct balance between these contradictory requirements is what will divide those that benefit fully of the ‘now economy’ from those that will struggle to maintain pace with it. You can learn more about the now economy in our latest Global Payments Report.

 

8. What are you excited about in 2019?

With the implementation of the PSD2, 2019 is the year in that digital content providers will have to learn how to handle and manage fraud in a more refined/sophisticated way. Although this is a European specific requirement, it is causing merchants across the world to reconsider how they approach the fight against fraud. As a result, and especially in the digital space, I expect 2019 to be full of innovation as companies tackle the same issues, while managing consumer requirements in their own unique ways.

As you’d expect the online/digital space continues to evolve rapidly – and it looks like there are a lot of exciting developments still to come.

Want to know what to expect from Worldpay throughout 2019? Get in touch to find out.  

Written by:   Daniel Belda, VP Digital Content, Global eCom, Worldpay,  4 Jan 2019