SEE ALSO: 117 Magazine and Media Predictions for 2009

As the long, hard slog that was 2008 draws to a close, the magazine industry—however wearily—is looking ahead to 2009.

Today, we posted 117 predictions (and counting) for the coming year. In its year-end holiday e-mail, the team at the Jordan, Edmiston Group—which completed 17 deals in 2008—had its own insights for 2009.

Here’s an excerpt:

Looking ahead, we’re hopeful that M&A activity will begin to pick up toward the end of Q1 2009, as the credit crunch eases and consumer confidence continues to bounce back from October’s all-time low.

Among the sectors JEGI covers, we’re especially bullish on marketing services. We anticipate that an advertising slowdown will dramatically alter marketer spending patterns and surface many viable/compelling M&A opportunities. We expect CMOs to funnel leaner budgets away from “above the line” brand awareness to “below the line” marketing to drive leads, directly impact sales, and quickly shift market share.

Technology (e.g., multi-channel integration and automation for efficiency; analytics and optimization for measurement and targeting; and interactive video for impact) will play a decisive role in this transition. In the current M&A environment, recurring revenue models will prevail, and we expect keen interest and increased M&A activity in such sectors as customer contact, loyalty and CRM, and interactive advertising optimization, as well as marketing research and information solutions.

At the same time, diversified media companies will be challenged to continue growing their offline and online audiences, and media models that generate large audiences at an efficient cost will also be in demand.