Back in 1995, when I was a teenager and knew everything (especially about music), I proudly and confidently told everyone that this woman who had the big summer hit on rock radio was totally, absolutely, 100 percent going to be a one-hit wonder.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Alanis Morissette
Since then, I’ve tried to avoid the prediction business. If I could make predictions, I’d have a very big house in the Adirondacks and a season pass to Disney World rather than three courses to prepare and a mountain of student loan debt.
So rather the predict what will happen in 2018 in sports media and sports journalism, here are three things I’m keeping my eye on.
1. ESPN’s Stand Alone App The state of ESPN is a constant issue in the sports media world. But what I’m most interested in is ESPN Plus, the standalone streaming service scheduled to launch in the spring.
I’m fascinated about what this app will be, what it will look like, what it will contain. Will it be available to cord cutters, like HBO Go? Will this be the longstanding break of ESPN and live sports and the cable bundle? How will the addition of the Fox Sports Regional networks to the Disney stable impact what’s available?
But what I’m most interested in is the type of content that is available on this app. Is ESPN simply going to repackage it’s current programming and content in a new app? Or is the company going to experiment with new types of content that moves beyond the traditional live sports/highlights packages that have defined ESPN for 40 years?
2. The Athletic, One Year In One of the biggest stories in sports journalism has been the growth of The Athletic and its subscription-only sites.
I’m interested to see where things stand with these sites in summer. In mid-June and July.
It was at that point in 2017 when The Athletic began its first big push into the national sports scene. This is when The Athletic’s big push into sports journalism beyond its original three sites happened.
But I’m curious what happens in the summer, around the time that the first series of year-long subscriptions start to expire. Will the people who subscribed in the initial push renew their subscriptions? What will this tell us about how fans are responding to the subscription-only site?
3. A mobile reckoning This is the closest thing to a prediction I have. But given what I’m reading in the research and what I am seeing in my students’ news consumption habits, it feels like there is a judgment coming in terms mobile journalism.
I have no data to back this up. This is a gut feeling more than anything else. But watching the news industry move it’s content from its website to mobile in the same way that it moved print content online, it feels like there is a reckoning coming for news organizations in the mobile space.