Five Predictions for 2014

by Ian Rosenwach on 12.30.2013

…as readers increasingly turn to the Internet for news and information, niche magazines continue to retain and attract loyal followings, making them a bright spot in an otherwise dim outlook for print periodicals. (NYTimes)

Next year’s models will feature more genre-focused services, which can bring down the subscription price because of the narrower catalog. (WSJ)

Continuing on from my 2013 year in review, here are five predictions on technology, politics, and cultural developments in 2014.

1 – A big year for female leaders

Led by Hillary Clinton, there’s a huge influx of female leaders that emerge in business and politics. Perhaps the next CEO of Microsoft is a woman. Or maybe Angela Ahrendts, recently hired by Apple from Burberry to oversee retail, takes center-stage for a critically-acclaimed rollout of the iWatch at Apple’s annual WWDC event.

2 – The ObamaCare quagmire

As the year progresses, more HealthCare.gov implementation problems emerge, putting the Obama administration on the defensive. The administrations relationship with the health insurance industry decays to the point of acrimony. This becomes the biggest obstacle in successfully implementing ObamaCare. It also turns out that people who applied for insurance at HealthCare.gov had more health issues, skewing the risk pool for the insurance program and threatening it’s viability as a sustainable, long-term program.

3 – Niche publishing platforms gain ground

Last week there were two related articles from the NYTimes and WSJ about the economic attractiveness of genre-based content businesses. In 2014, a major player in digital streaming innovates on pricing based on content category. For example, consumers can pay $2.99/month for access to the entire Latino music category. Another possibility is that Apple, Amazon, or Google launches a single music + video subscription service; like Spotify meets Netflix.

4 – Big year for liberty and privacy advocates 

After more embarrassing revelations, public anger, and corporate lobbying the Obama administration curbs the NSA’s ability to surreptitiously collect data from American companies. But the damage has been done, and the breach of trust between the government and Americans makes it near impossible for the administration to get other key pieces of legislation passed, the most prominent of which is a dramatic tax overhaul intended to address the growing inequality issue.

5 – A retreat from mundane sharing 

In 2014, the average American will share less personal content, such as pictures, video, check-ins, and other status updates. Partially this is a reaction to the NSA revelations, but as big a force is that mobile fatigue starts to set in, especially for young people. The breakout app of 2014 lets users create “moments” a group of friends, then acts as a repository for any shared content during that moment between the group of friends. Moments can be set up to self-destruct like Snapchat or stay active, like on Facebook.

That’s all folks. Happy New Year!

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