Credit: By Don McCullough on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A report looking at technology and digital media trends for 2015 was released today by digital strategy consultancy Webbmedia Group, which has been tracking tech trends for almost 10 years.

It lists 55 trends set to have an impact in the new year, providing background insights and a watchlist of companies working in the respective fields.

Journalism.co.uk has picked five trends from the report which media organisations should keep an eye on in 2015.

One to few publishing

"Over the past two years we've seen a lot of very early successes with some old media, so newsletters, podcasts, and extremely niche networks are starting to become really popular again," chief executive officer Amy Webb told Journalism.co.uk

This., for example, is a network that only allows users to share one link a day. Currently in invite-only beta, it was started because finding the most interesting information online, even through Twitter, was becoming too complicated, said Webb.

"[One to few publishing] is a reaction to the fact that there is too much stuff, there is too much content and the algorithmic curators aren't doing a good enough job.

"So what people are doing now is attaching themselves to people with exceptional taste," she said.

Intelligent cameras

As cameras have been getting smaller, they have also become weather resistant and more efficient.

And related algorithms running in the background, such as the face recognition software in use on Facebook, are also becoming more intelligent.

"Connected cameras will start to become more commonplace," said Webb.

"And if newsrooms deploy connected cameras and we have sophisticated algorithms that could recognise stuff in the back end, it presents a lot of very interesting opportunities," she added.

Robots and video capture drones

Robots could become a helpful tool for newsgathering as small drones could be used in areas where there are safety concerns, such as conflict zones.

"One of the things we're looking at are teeny tiny little robots that have video capture ability," said Webb.

"There are very small drones that you can build on your own, or are affordable, that a journalist can send in to capture footage, to capture information just like the military does, and it's safer for the journalist, it's safer for everybody involved," she explained.

And sensors – for collecting data in the field – are another example of bot-like technology that have been used in newsrooms already and could develop further in the new year.

WNYC data news team editor John Keefe, for example, built his own soil temperature sensors in 2013 to predict the return of cicadas on the American east coast.

Focus on audience, not device

Webb said news organisations should think about what audiences are doing and what daily situations they find themselves in when reading stories or watching video, rather than what device they are using.

It solves a lot of problems if I [can] create a news playlist, and I am able to take that with me wherever I go.Amy Webb, Webbmedia Group
The trends report noted that media outlets should think about repackaging stories as a reader's needs change throughout the day.

Media outlets should look at the "waiting in line at the coffee shop version" of an article, for example, or the "running on a treadmill" version.

News playlists

As people interact with different screens throughout the day, linking content to a specific device means audiences might forget about a story as their circumstances change and they have to switch off – if a video stops loading as they lose connectivity for example.

"What would be much more interesting would be for me to create a playlist," said Webb, explaining how a "Spotify of news" would work.

"It solves a lot of problems for news organisations if there's an account I log in with, I create a news playlist, and I am able to take that with me wherever I go," she said.

The trends report also highlighted, among others, wearables and the development of real-time communications technology behind Google Hangouts.

This technology could, for example, power live video on WhatsApp, a network media organisations such as the BBC have already been experimenting with for news sharing.

The full report is available on SlideShare.

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