It has been a rather busy year, hence the lack of writing. At some point I’ll find the time to share a few stories but I’m mostly in STFU-mode as we continue building. From my slightly unusual vantage point across the kids, digital media and general tech sectors, here are some predictions for 2015 (2014 is here, if you’re interested).
The emergence of kidtech
Heard about COPPA? You soon will. US-led kids privacy legislation is being adopted globally (there’s separate but similar EU legislation in the works) which means that all kids companies (brands, sites, tech providers) need to be compliant (kidtech). With Google’s recent announcement that kids are now a strategic priority, the kids sector is going to get interesting.
Subscription service bundling
Too many monthly subscription offers means that bundling (a la TV) is inevitable. Watch for it to begin in 2015 with video + books + box offerings.
Endgame for Twitter
Google and FB both try and acquire Twitter, that much is obvious. The real question will be whether Alibaba join the party (I think they will).
The YouTube talent agency goldrush
As MCNs effectively become glorified talent agencies (and others start literal ones), we see at least one acquisition from an actual agency player (CAA/UTA/WME).
Lots of M&A
Every ibanker I know seems unduly excited. Quote from actual mail: “Almost anything can sell in this market”. Good/bad, depending on your outlook.
European VC continues to warm up
Not dramatic but new VC funds will continue to emerge in Europe, slowly defrosting the ecosystem.
Content becomes a problem
Junk-reading becomes a recognized concept as (like a slowly boiled frog) people realise that we have almost lost actual journalism.
Someone figures out crowdshorting
As capital raising (for tech companies) continues to be displaced from the public markets (crowdfunding, oversized late-stage rounds), someone starts a marketplace to short highly capitalised, overvalued private companies.
Facebook signs a major live-sports deal for Oculus
I think that gaming is a bit of a red herring for VR. Live sports could make this mainstream and FB has the clout to do it.
Focus comes back into fashion
More wish than prediction: founders stop with ‘side-projects’ and actually use their spare time for thinking and reflecting on their main project.