Grading Our 2019 Predictions

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Grading Our 2019 Predictions

2020 is almost here! The new year is just a few days away, so we have decided to reflect on 2019 and see how we did with our prediction from back in January.   

Prediction 1: Blockchain will remain #1

Our Grade: C

In 2018, Blockchain came out of left field and became one of the hottest topics of the year and we predicted that this trend would continue.  Plenty happened with Blockchain in 2019, including Measure Protocol launching their beta, and UBDI and CitizenMe entering the space.  And while wasn’t as hot of a topic this year on the conference circuit, Veriglif was pretty vocal, and there were discussions at conferences, just not a prevalent as in 2018. This year didn’t give us a clear winner or any emergence of widely adopted best practices or compliance procedures, based on this year we think our 2019 prediction on this may be better suited for 2020.

Prediction 2: GDPR US-Style

Our Grade: B

In the Spring of 2018, GDPR went into effect in Europe and businesses felt it worldwide. With numerous data privacy scandals and data breaches, we predicted that similar legislation would surface in the United States. 2019 saw the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) get passed which will go into effect in January 2020. Similar legislation in Connecticut and Nevada are also close to being enacted. Insights Association and other large lobbying associations, like the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and others, joined forces to create the Privacy for America commission to push for national data privacy legislation. While there was no federal legislation like we predicted, we blame Congress for not taking up the proposals that have been put forth by the commission.

Prediction 3: Continued Mergers, Acquisitions, and IPO’s

Our Grade: A

We have to say, we think we nailed this one. Over the course of 2019, we saw the mergers and acquisitions trend from 2018 continue, with several big deals happening, including:

  • Bain Capital acquiring WPP
  • Dynata acquiring Critical Mix
  • Cint acquiring P2Sample
  • Nielsen splitting into two companies

These, combined with additional purchases by LRW, Schlesinger, 20/20, and many others We don’t anticipate this trend slowing down next year either.

Prediction 4: Big Names Will Continue to Struggle

Our Grade: B

While Kantar and Ipsos both had stronger than expected results and achieved positive growth, a majority of the industry growth we saw in 2019 came from new entrants and innovations.