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Happy New Year, Happy Trails

It’s the start of another year and for those of us in the media industry, 2010 is likely to be better–and certainly, more exciting, than 2009. CES blew through Las Vegas last week, headlining the fact that mobile computing will be center stage all year. Mobile DTV had its coming out party and the Open Mobile Video Coalition is positioning for traction in 2010. In this smart-phone and app-crazy world, consumer demand for more and better “anywhere TV” will only increase.

3-D is another irresistible force. I know there are many skeptics out there. They may be right when they scoff at the prospects, but 3D-TV will have its day in the sun and it will happen in 2010. Industry leaders ESPN and Discovery are hedging their bets in a big way by launching programming in 3D–and set manufacturers are always looking for ways to create new markets, so keep an eye out. (If you haven’t seen it with your own eyes, hold your criticism/skepticism until you do. It’s remarkable, in the same way that HD when we first saw it a decade ago. Remember, there were doubters about HD too.)

On the deal side, 2010 will be definitively more active than 2009–for better or worse. All the big players kept their powder dry through most of the past two years (except for Google.) But with the Comcast-NBCU deal struck and awaiting approval, more action will be just around the corner. Also, our industry is all about growth–like any other–so after 18 months of hesitancy and inaction, there is sure to be a lot of movement in 2010. There is pressure to act and that will manifest itself in many interesting ways in the months ahead. Should be fun to watch and even more fun to take part in…

Finally, a personal note: after 2+ years at the helm of Shoptalk’s parent company–Vault.com– I am becoming non-executive Chairman and turning over the CEO reins to Claude Sheer, a publishing and internet veteran who many may remember from his days at Ziff-Davis. As of January 1, the editor of Shoptalk and the TVSpy franchise report to Claude. Therefore, this will be my last post for Shoptalk. In addition to consulting to Vault (and its majority owner, Veronis Suhler Stevenson) I will be doing some independent media consulting on my own, while keeping my eyes open for The Next Big Thing. Until we meet again, thanks for your support and loyalty, and have a terrific 2010!

If you would like to comment on Remote Control, or want to reach Erik, email remotecontrol@tvspy.

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