Video game enthusiasts attend a live e-sporting event at the Starleague iPark Mall E-Sports Stadium in Seoul, Korea.

Video game enthusiasts attend a live e-sporting event at the Starleague iPark Mall E-Sports Stadium in Seoul, Korea. Photo: Carlos Affono | FlickrCC.

Digital media is on fast forward, and you need to pay attention if you want to stay on the cutting edge. Bill E Ford, Chief Executive Officer at General Atlantic, is a strong believer in the growth of this sector. In a Financial Times interview, he observed, “One of the biggest shifts that we’ve been focused on is the shift from offline to online media. We have several investments taking advantage of this trend.”

YouTube is leading the way as it continues to dominate online video. Short form video content is exploding in popularity, and 2016 will continue to be a busy year in digital with the growth of virtual reality (VR) platforms and ongoing media company consolidation. Here are some trends to pay attention to over the coming months:

Digital Sports

Sports stadiums will grow in popularity with teenagers following their favorite video game players. Add the terms e-Sports and e-Athletes to your business vocabulary, because 2016 will feature massive live gaming events online and at stadiums. Digital gaming competitions have grown so popular that some e-Athletes may organize for collective bargaining this year.

Digital Wearables

Digital devices are turning into must-have fashion accessories. Keep an eye on the Apple Watch Hermés—it’s an innovative partnership between the tech giant and the famous luxury brand. Their cross-branded timepiece and handcrafted leather bands are fetching a high price. The lower end model costs $1,100. Digital wearables will continue to launch this year. Look for products that track personal data and diagnose health problems, as well as partnerships that make healthcare more accessible by providing connections between medical services and underserved communities.

Live Streaming Now

YouNow is a live social network that raised $15 million this year. Twitter purchased the live stream app Periscope for $100 million. Live streaming events, personal/social digital content, and video on demand are the focus of established media companies, and startups as well as investors are searching for companies offering sustainable growth with access to global markets.

Virtual Reality

Major consumer electronics companies will sell millions of premium VR headsets in the coming year. Gamers will rule the early part of 2016 with VR content. As the year progresses, live action VR content and storytelling will develop. Keep your eye on Jaunt, which just raised $65 million from a group of media leaders including Disney.