Here are 15 global media industry developments that could occur during 2015:
- BuzzFeed, eBay/Gumtree, Indeed, and Business Insider will launch free newspapers or magazines. There is certain to be increasing amounts of print to complement digital services, especially in classifieds.
- Google will launch a scrape-free, ads-free subscription emails/ search service. Or Microsoft will do it with the new “Spartan” browser (due in Autumn 2015).
- Some of the world’s major daily newspapers will go free. Others will reduce to Friday-Monday publication. Inspired by London Evening Standard, Metro, 20 Minutes, AM New York, and Australia’s mX. Will UK’s The Independent, Daily Express, or The Sunday People be next?
- Some major magazine brands will go free. Inspired by UK’s Stylist, ShortList, and Time Out, and Hearst’s TrendingNY.
- Simon Cowell will headline a new online-broadcast entertainment network. His Sony contract expires in 2015.
- News Corp will launch a global news service online and in print. A combined UK-Australia-US operation? And a global online Sun? To compete directly with global ambitions of New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, and Daily Mail.
- Time Inc will launch a Time-People-Sports-Fortune-Money global super site/ web TV.
- Washington Post-Amazon will launch a global news service to compete with The Guardian and New York Times. Jeff Bezos is limbering up for a big splash.
- Many regional newspapers in UK, US and Australia will go online-only. Linked to shopping offers and e-commerce.
- Network TV channels in the US and UK will launch parallel web channels with interactive/ social media options. Otherwise, their viewers will continue to be distracted by Twitter.
- Some major books will be published for free download with sponsorship or advertising. Obviously.
- Facebook will buy BuzzFeed.
- LinkedIn will launch business (online) TV.
- Fox/ Sky will launch a rival to Vice News or buy it. After all.
- Financial Times will merge with Wall Street Journal. A longer shot that might depend on News Corp (or Bloomberg) acquiring the FT.