2004 Prognostications
Annual predictions of the year to come

 

Responses from
- Chang So
- Brian Fitzgerald
- George Sollman
- Dan Hankins
- Dave Lundell
- Derrill Stepp

Here are my best efforts for the final 50.5 weeks of
2004...

Business:

* Google will IPO, and its stock will hit its all-time
high within 3 months of the offering. After its high,
the stock will begin a long decline, as investor's
realize that the initial IPO price baked in wildly
unrealistic growth prospects. Will be acquired in
2005.

* Universal Music is trumped by the Sony-BMG merger,
losing its all-important lead in market share at the
same time as it is trying to squeeze retailers.
Universal will buy EMI if signs from the DOJ are
favorable, leaving three music companies. These three
will find Walmart and Target more formidable
distribution partners than Apple in terms of pressure
on profit margins. One of the six major music
retailers, probably Tower Records, goes down.

* Comcast joins Time Warner Cable in rolling out DVR
functionality. TiVo will see its market potential
slashed, as consumers will choose to pay $10-20 per
month rather than buy Tivo's separate box for 10 times
the price. TiVo will exit and agree to be sold to the
first bidder.

* If it wasn't 2003, then 2004 is the "tipping point"
year for cable. As land-based phone lines become
unnecessary, consumers will opt for cable-based
Internet service. DSL slowly withers on the vine,
while (at a slower rate) Satellite TV loses the race
against cable in the U.S.

* A book refuting many of the ideas espoused in "The
Tipping Point" will become a best seller.

* Sirius will be bought, and saved, by News Corp.

* Sapient will be bought by IBM.

* The post-bubble bubble takes a hit, leading to
acquisitions or other consolidation involving 2 of
these 3: Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay.

Politics:

* Dean will win the Democratic nomination. After the
nomination is secured, he will try to move further
toward the center, embracing Clinton's "third way" and
thereby wooing the party establishment. Despite
selecting Florida Senator Bob Graham as a running
mate, Dean will lose Florida and the election.

* Bush will roll out one last Orwellian-named bill, to
add to the reverse-speak classics "Leave No Child
Behind" and "Healthy Forests Restoration acts.
Perhaps a 'Money For The Poor' welfare reduction
initiative?

* Osama Bin Laden will be killed, and his
unidentifiable body leads to persistent rumors that he
escaped to Hitler's villa in Argentina.

Sports:

Superbowl: The Pats
World Series: The Cubs
The NBA: Who cares?
Stanley Cup: Either the Hartford Whalers or Quebec
Nordiques

Entertainment:

* "Branded media" is the buzz term of the year, as
product placement and integrated branding
opportunities expand beyond the confines of
blockbuster movies and hit network TV shows into indie
films and non-hit, non-network TV shows, as producers
bake the associated revenues into their budgets as a
matter of course.

* By the end of the year, the $10 movie is the rule,
in all major cities and large suburbs. Viewers will
watch an average of 3 commercials before the previews
start.

Oscars: Master and Commander, Russell Crowe, Charlize
Theron

Out: Snoop, Jay-Z, Nelly
In: Chingy, Omarion, Andre 3000

* Kobe Bryant not guilty, Michael Jackson guilty

* Britney and Madonna will continue their fades into
irrelevancy. In the immortal of words of Jim Rome,
"Maybe Britney should stop kissing her grandmother on
awards shows..."

-Dave
 

 


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