Michael Bloomberg’s eponymous terminals and information company has long been in a battle against Reuters (now the product of a 2007 merger between Reuters and Thomson Financial) in the financial markets desktop terminals business.
Standalone information has been a second string but now Bloomberg, which recently bought Business Week from McGraw-Hill for a bargain basement $5m, is taking on the Financial Times and Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal with the launch of three daily newsletters costing a chunky $2000 each. The company is also upgrading its Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Government monthly magazines after hiring hundreds of journalists.
The three newsletters are currently available free to the 295,000 subscribers to Bloomberg’s terminals business but will now be on sale to non-subscribers. They cover hedge funds, mergers and structured notes.
Bloomberg, which also owns Bloomberg TV, is positioning the newsletter as niche products but its approach to publishing has seen a sea change. Once it was there to support the terminals business (which turns over some $7bn a year) but now it’s a business in its own right.
This is much the same strategy that Reuters has pursued since its 2007 merger with Thomson, once again emphasising its historic news agency roots.
So now there are four mainstream players in the financial news and information business, two of whom, News Corporation with the WSJ and Pearson with the FT have the bothersome business of printing newspapers.