People are starting to re-evaluate everyday values that sit at the forefront of tech, culture and media, according to new research.

Mindshare’s 2020 Trends Report reveals a pervasive sense of consumer uncertainty across technology, communications and culture. The main finding of the report showed that people want to have a better grasp of control over each aspect of their lives, particularly against a backdrop of recent economic and political uncertainty in the UK market.

The key areas of exploration in this year’s report include 5G, biometric technology, streaming services, disruption in the brand landscape and the transformation of advertising. The report highlights these trends as areas that are likely to drive the future of the media industry not just in 2020, but for the next decade ahead.

The report, which forms the backbone to Mindshare’s wider Futures programme, is a mixed methodology consumer facing study that aims to get to the heart of key sectors of society. The research took place over the course of four months, involving multiple quantitative surveys spanning 5,000 UK consumers aged 16+, as well as detailed qualitative consumer research, both online and face-to-face.

Sophie Harding, Trends and Insights Director at Mindshare UK, said: “Our trends for 2020 are more all-encompassing in terms of subject matter compared to previous years. With all that is going on in the world, our research reflects that there are much broader cultural points of influence to factor in. People are taking stock and thinking about the bigger picture. Technology, brands and marketing are being questioned and re-evaluated along with a whole host of other areas of life. This year’s findings go right back to fundamentals – how people feel about connectivity and data, their relationship with brands and what they really want from ‘advertising’ and entertainment.”

Jem Lloyd-Williams, CEO of Mindshare UK added: “We are extremely proud of the work our Futures team put into building a robust Trends report which aims to understand people’s motivations and feelings when it comes to the ever-changing media landscape. The report’s findings will not only enable us to put client’s audiences at the heart of their media plans, but will also be instrumental in creating unique, dynamic campaigns that resonate with consumers.”

The five key trends expected to shape 2020 are:

OM5G?: 5G is on its way, but is it really OMG and do people really care?

5G is a huge part of our future and is set to change everything, but people are feeling a little underwhelmed. Awareness of 5G is widespread but beyond this, knowledge is lacking, and the only message people seem to be getting is that it will be faster. But, get ready for a turnaround as people learn more, the networks and devices filter through and people start to think about how it will affect not only the things they currently do but consider the possibilities yet to come.

Stand-out statistic: 54% of our respondents felt that 5G is just the next 4G; they just don’t know what the big deal is

Body Talks: Data sources are getting ever more intimate, moving into the realms of body and mind.

We now use voice assistants that can recognise our tone of voice, wearables that record our health data, facial recognition technology that determines our mood as well as tech that analyses our fingerprints and DNA. People have complex and mixed feelings about the use of this type of data and although it is early days for brand involvement, there are rich rewards at the end of the contextual rainbow for those that get it right.

Stand-out statistic: Only 7% are comfortable with brands having access to their DNA data

AD BREAKS?: With trust in ads in decline and criticism more rife than ever, we could be forgiven for thinking that advertising was on the verge of a breakdown. But a journey of reinvention has begun.

Reports tell us consumer trust in ‘advertising’ has hit an all-time low and more so than ever before, our own research is telling us people feel bombarded and overwhelmed by too many irrelevant, intrusive and overtly sales driven ads. With so many consumers feeling alienated, change is essential for the discipline to flourish, and for trust to be rebuilt. Signs of reinvention are being seen though as the marketing world expands the boundaries of what people have traditionally thought of as “advertising” - reinventing how it uses people’s data, creating new brand touchpoints and content opportunities, and developing evolving ad formats, to fix the Ad Break.

Stand-out statistic: More than three quarters (78%) claim that advertising these days is “just trying to flog me stuff.”

Brand New World: Disruption is rife, and people’s expectations are changing, forcing brands to arm themselves in new and different ways. It’s a Brand New World out there…

The digital world and a changing retail landscape have revolutionised how brands learn about and engage with their customers, causing people to re-think their relationships with them. But brands still have a lot to offer and in the coming years they’ll be exploring new and different ways to deliver what really matters to people.

Stand-out statistic: 60% of people believe a lot of unknown brands are just as good, if not better than many established brands

Living the Stream: Streaming is here to stay but supply will soon outstrip demand, so what’s next?

Streaming is here to stay, but it seems like the supply of media will soon exceed the demand, as new companies are launching and consolidating, out to monopolise people’s free time. As a result of this growing arms race, we will be left with more choice of content than ever, but will this be too much for people to handle?

Stand-out statistic: 64% say so many new streaming services mean it will get too expensive to access everything they want to watch, but in good news for brands, 55% do not mind seeing commercials on streaming services if it means they get access to free content they enjoy.

You can view the full report here