Welcome to the ROARING Twenties and Fourth Industrial (Tech & Media) Revolution

Happy New Year to the great people I am honoured to work with.

As we begin 2020 and a new decade, welcome to what I believe will once again come to be known as the ROARING Twenties. After all the division and dither, we are about to enter a post-Brexit golden age. I believe it will offer immense prosperity and opportunity for those of us involved in the innovation of the creative industries. The tech and Media sector are at the core of a Fourth Industrial Revolution in which British creativity and innovation will be pivotal. One hundred years ago the 1920s became known as the ROARING Twenties, with peace and prosperity following the end of the first world war. As I believe the decade ahead will be, it was a period of economic prosperity and one which spawned a distinctive cultural edge in music, movies, art and architecture.

We know the strength of InterTalent and the wonderful people we work with both as clients and colleagues and I am excited about our marching together into the new Roaring Twenties. I know that many of you were not in favour of leaving the EU. But now, with country's course set as a result of last month's General Election, I am convinced that a company like ours is fantastically well positioned to be at the forefront of future prosperity. We are fortunate to be at the epicentre of a limitless world of creative, artistic and entrepreneurial brilliance.

In the coming decade, The Fourth Industrial (Tech & Media) Revolution will build upon the digital revolution that has been taking place since the latter part of the last century when British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web. Now with technological breakthroughs in areas from artificial intelligence to biotechnologies, a Fourth Industrial Revolution will reshape every sector in every country. It will be characterized by merging technology that eradicates the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. In doing so it will inevitably uproot industries all over the world. The world is changing faster than ever. New technology is creating new industries, changing existing ones and transforming the way things are made. Historically we always have been a nation of innovators and native creative genius. That creative genius has shone through in the entertainment sector on which the UK depends for billions of pounds of revenue each year.

In "Music" artists like Adele, Ed Sheeran, Oscar winning Sam Smith, The Beatles, Spice Girls, Little Mix, Elton John and the Rolling Stones are heard everywhere. Behind the scenes it is three BRITS who lead the Global music industry in America - Sir Lucian Grainge at Universal, Rob Stringer at Sony and Max Lousada at Warner. Michael and Emily Eavis run Glastonbury, the greatest music festival in the world.

British "Filmmakers" and actors are garlanded with accolades around the world. In recent years Oscars, Emmys and BAFTAs have been harvested by movies including The Favourite, The King's Speech, Bohemian Rhapsody, Slumdog Millionaire, James Bond, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually and The Queen. British Actors such as Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Joan Collins, Olivia Colman, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet have been recognised as among the world's very finest performers of stage and screen. And we should never forget the global success of the work of our great British directors 'Sir' Steve '12 Years a Slave' McQueen, Sam Mendes and Danny Boyle.

In "TV" Britain is producing shows which are talked about all over the world - Doctor Who, Bake Off, Line of Duty, Fleabag, Luther, The Crown, Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders. At a time when reality TV dominates global television, Simon Cowell is in the Guinness Book of world records for having created the globe's most successful reality TV format 'Got Talent' adapted for broadcast in 58 countries.

In "Literature" the greatest British authors are world renowned, being part of every school child's curriculum - Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickins, George Orwell and Agatha Christie. But of the current most valuable authors since records began British writers such as JK Rowling, David Walliams, Jeffrey Archer, Jamie Oliver, Jacqueline Wilson, Delia Smith and even Jeremy Clarkson dominate the world of publishing.

The new ROARING Twenties 2020 will be the decade that pushes media, tech and entertainment boundaries significantly further, creating ever-greater opportunities.

In the new tech-driven world of media and entertainment Streaming Wars between Disney, Apple and Netflix along with SVOD (subscription video on demand) will go into the stratosphere with the land grab manoeuvres now fully "on" after years of anticipation. The Herculean Netflix content budget last year ballooned to $15+ Billion to compete with what is planned from Disney and Apple.

  • In music, streaming will create further double-digit growth. Spotify will continue its leadership dominance and drive much of that growth. TikTok, the teen darling in 2019, will deepen its fan engagement and monetisation model and will target Spotify with its own subscription streaming service that launches this year.
  • Podcasting's consumer appeal and strategic importance to Spotify, Apple and others will continue to grow, but monetization at mass scale will remain elusive.
  • 2020 will finally give vision to augmented reality (AR) and its ultimate mass commercial appeal. Just like the iPhone ushered in the age of smart phones at mass scale, Apple's long-anticipated AR glasses will usher in a brave new world of visual computing.
  • 5G networks will now launch in earnest and 5G compatible smart phones enter the market. 5G drives high quality video consumption on those phones, transforming our media and entertainment experiences.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) will accelerate its game-changing ways in the world of media and entertainment. Look beyond home assistants like Alexa and Siri that have already transformed our lives and say "hello" to virtual humans and virtual beings. Real emotional connections with non-human AI-driven characters become a paradigm shift that is closer than we think. Virtual influencer Miquela has "very real" with 1.8 million social followers.

The UK currently ranks 5th in the global innovation index. Germany and France rank 9th and 16th respectively - so perhaps Europe needs the United Kingdom as much, if not more, than the United Kingdom needs Europe! We are a global leader in science and research. We have a thriving start-up environment and are home to many of the world's most research and technological development intensive businesses. We develop and attract some of the most talented people in the world. We live in a remarkable country. In recent years there has been bumper growth in Britain's creative and digital industries. British innovators reign supreme. Names such Sir Richard Branson, Sir James Dyson, Denise Coates, Mahmud Kamani, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Philip Day, Tony Pidgley, Tim Martin and Tim Steiner immediately come to mind. BRITS invented antibiotics, steam engines, photography, electric motors, concrete, trains, computers, the Fridge, the telephone, television, cat's eyes, Jet Engines, the i-pod and mobile phones.

So as we now begin the 2020s - the dawn of what will be once again the 'ROARING Twenties' as the fourth industrial revolution unfolds I say to the naysayers and purveyors of doom and gloom for post BREXIT Britain, now is the time to be proud and shout from the rooftops. The United Kingdom has always punched well above its weight having been at the forefront of the world for centuries. In the coming years we will all prosper and be free to trade with anyone in the world we wish on our own terms. Many are now starting to predict significant growth and confidence coming back into our economy. We should all be excited and positive as we start this new year and decade. I believe that excitement and confidence will be particularly merited among those of us who make our business and livings from the entertainment and creative sectors. For companies, like InterTalent, who are bold enough to embrace the media and tech revolution and to think even further ahead of its exciting curve than others, the rewards will be great.

Thank you for being you and for being part of our great company. As this year progresses you must enjoy some of the fruits of being part of our great industry positions so excitingly where you are.

Jonathan x