15 media predictions for 2015

Here are 15 global media industry developments that could occur during 2015:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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? 
  4. Some major magazine brands will go free. Inspired by UK’s Stylist, ShortList, and Time Out, and Hearst’s TrendingNY. 
  5. Simon Cowell will headline a new online-broadcast entertainment network. His Sony contract expires in 2015.
  6. 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.
  7. Time Inc will launch a Time-People-Sports-Fortune-Money global super site/ web TV.
  8. 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.
  9. Many regional newspapers in UK, US and Australia will go online-only. Linked to shopping offers and e-commerce.
  10. 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.
  11. Some major books will be published for free download with sponsorship or advertising. Obviously.
  12. Facebook will buy BuzzFeed.
  13. LinkedIn will launch business (online) TV.
  14. Fox/ Sky will launch a rival to Vice News or buy it. After all.
  15. Financial Times will merge with Wall Street Journal. A longer shot that might depend on News Corp (or Bloomberg) acquiring the FT.

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