Over the course of 2014 the spate of high-profile, big money investments in media businesses inevitably led to optimism in some quarters that the sector as a whole - at least the more digital parts of it - might be on the up. According to Zachary Kaplan, vice president at Vox investor General Atlantic, those deals are likely to be followed by more money flowing into the media world as digital business models start to look like they have legs.
Incisive Media enters refinancing agreement with Alchemy Partners that should allow it to reinvest in the company - but cannot rule out more sell-offs further down the line.
The New York Times has made headlines recently for buyouts and layoffs in the newsroom, with veteran names leaving and some "future stars" set to come in. Over the course of 2014 an even more radical process has taken place on the advertising side of the business as The Grey Lady focuses on the twin strands of technology-driven programmatic ads and more creative native advertising and more innovative display campaigns.
2014 saw the emergence of a rare consensus among media industry leaders about the need for better ways of measuring how people are interacting with content, both editorial and advertising. But while the inadequacies of the system are clear to most, the solutions remain elusive.
As 2015 gets under way in earnest, TheMediaBriefing is looking forward to diving back into reporting on and analysing the media business. But we also want your help in guiding that coverage and unearthing the new issues that are keeping you awake at night.
We know media types can't go long without a dose of analysis, debate and discussion so, to tide you over until 2015 we've rounded up the 20 most popular articles on TheMediaBriefing from the last year. The top stories reflect both enduring themes and some of the big issues that have emerged over the last year, from the continued decline of print through to the globalisation of media and the search for better ways of measuring the success of publishers.
The sky-high valuations of new media businesses such as BuzzFeed and Vox are fuelled by the idea that the media company of the future also has to be a tech company. Almost every new digital media business from Mashable to Pierre Omidyar's First Look talks about its technology as much as the journalism that tech underpins. Yet Guardian Media Group CEO Andrew Miller says technology alone isn't going to save the media, and these tech-focussed media companies are going to have a hard time building the infrastructure that makes a strong media business
News UK subsidiary Times Newspapers, which runs the Times and Sunday Times newspapers, recorded an operating profit of £1.7 million for the financial year ending June 30 2014 as the newspapers steadily grew their digital subscriber bases and shifted more of their readers into long-term membership relationships.
The property classified business - until relatively recently a big earner for regional and local newspapers - has been almost entirely co-opted by digital specialists, with two sites, Rightmove and DMGT-owned Zoopla, dominating the market. But while for these sites the ads are the content, it's clear from talking to Rightmove's James Micklethwait they share many of the same concerns as the publishing businesses they've super-ceded.
Just 16 months after it stopped giving away content for free online, The Sun has announced it has racked up nearly 225,000 paying digital customers paying for its online package Sun+. That's answered one big question for The Sun's digital future, but there are still big issues it has to tackle to build something sustainable.