If you are still not sure what’s going to happen to the media this year, check out this predictions series by the Nieman Lab. My personal favourites are:
Platforms are about creating a solid starting point that can be a springboard for extension and further innovation. They factor out some of the messy details and make it easy for innovators to add a creative twist and build on top. While a story is a one-off, a platform for stories can produce a hundred or even a thousand different experiences.
In 2015, we’ll see an expansion of platform thinking beyond content, to include the whole range of journalistic activities, from news gathering to sensemaking and dissemination.
In 2015, smart media will explode the way they think about delivering news and put everything on the table. What does news look like now, and what can it be? What are our assumptions about visual culture/end users/lifecycles of content/measuring impact that stop us from moving forward? What stories are we creating that are so compelling they can be watched on a loop? How do we wed stories and experiences to place, space, and time? Why are we so damn serious all the time? Is there space to report on the messy betweens or the small pockets of joy in darkness?
2015 will see a tipping point in favor of subscription-based journalism online.
There are recent glimmers of hope, both inside news organizations and in their external relationships with universities and other relevant parties. The R&D unit at The New York Times is a promising example of the kind of innovative work that can emerge when a news organization is not focused only on tomorrow’s deadline but also on the medium-term horizon.
…there’s increased interest in visual design skills and data analysis.
The idea of the bundle isn’t broken — it never really went away. Rather, the packaging of the news is morphing into multiple forms as the established ways of stuffing the news into the one-size-fits-all newspaper didn’t work so well in a networked society.The news is being packaged in four broad ways: by apps, devices, social signals, and algorithms.The notifications from news apps that make it onto that lock screen are in prime position to capture attention. The lock screen is the new bundle.
I predict 2015 will be the year that someone invents a great asset management solution to manage print and digital content that will give us these much-needed efficiencies — enabling us to be more competitive.We need to divorce the content from the display and destination. Just create the content and store it centrally.
The lauded pageview is being eclipsed by measurements of engagement and influence.The debut of the Apple Watch this year will compel us to think more about how to produce engaging content for even smaller screens, for audiences on the go, for glance functionality.
To succeed in this future, media organizations must become fluent in an increasingly visual idiom.There are startups built on gifs and emojis. There are few jobs buzzier than those which include the words “visual” and “storyteller.”
This is the year you have to start caring about digital security.When newsrooms hesitate to embrace technology, we face greater risks than a drop in pageviews: We jeopardize sources and compromise the integrity of our information.
There is a big reward in engagement in giving people a smaller number of stories, served up at the right time of day and in the right format.The future of news will inevitably involve making hard decisions about serving people not just what we think they should know, but what they might like to know — even if they don’t know it.
2015 will be the first year where native advertising programs will be in place at nearly every serious news organization.
What’s most interesting to me about native — aside from the fact that it can’t be automated and scaled via networks like banners — is that it plays to the very heart of serious news organizations’ strengths. Quite simply, native advertising is advertising for people who read things.
2015 looks to be the year when we start grappling with the power and role of these complex algorithms — sometimes discussed as machine learning or artificial intelligence — and when a thousand more startups (and big companies, since they have a data advantage in fueling these types of algorithms) start trying to “deploy” them not just in apps and sites, but in our devices and objects as chips and sensors become more prevalent.