Bloomberg Media saw digital ad revenue up 13 percent in first half of 2018
Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith sent out the following note about its first-half performance to the staff on Tuesday:
We are in the middle of a pivotal and exciting year for Bloomberg Media Group as many of the initiatives we have been quietly building over the past few years are coming to life through our collective efforts.
We are inventing our way forward in one of the business world’s most disrupted industries, and I’m proud to share that we’re currently pacing to achieve record double-digit revenue growth by the end of 2018. We are firmly on the path to realizing outlier results that should make everyone feel proud. In the first half of 2018, advertising, events and marketing services revenue grew 9%. Counter to industry trends, digital advertising revenue, expanded by 13%. In licensing, revenue from branded partnerships grew 52% based on a slew of new deals designed to expand the Bloomberg brand and media presence into important Bloomberg LP markets.
Let’s dive deeper into a few of our biggest areas of innovation and growth.
-Our global New Economy Forum team has been working around the clock to ensure our inaugural event on November 6-7, 2018 becomes the preeminent convening platform of world leaders from business and government. The New Economy Forum is a global media platform – not just an event – and one that lives across all of Bloomberg Media channels from our website to Businessweek to television to radio and more.
With the support and leadership of 12 Founding Partners and an equally impressive Advisory Board chaired by Mike, Dr. Kissinger and Hank Paulson, we are building a truly global community of CEOs and entrepreneurs weighted towards emerging “new economy” markets to join us in Singapore to frame, debate and propose action-oriented solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Our partner in China, CCIEE, recently shared with us that it had become challenging to host the inaugural NEF in Beijing this year due to scheduling conflicts. We decided to move ahead and host the 2018 Forum in Singapore with full support from CCIEE and a commitment to host the 2019 Forum in November in Beijing. Mike believes strongly that the world needs this important, private sector-led conversation now. Singapore’s position as an international business and diplomatic hub makes it an ideal location for us to launch NEF. Please read our joint statement here.
-May’s launch of our subscription business has far exceeded our expectations. In the first three months, we more than tripled our pre-launch subscriber forecasts for the rest of the year. In addition, Bloomberg.com’s elegant new site design and updated mobile app packed with utility-driven features is resonating with our users. Just this week we rolled out a new feature on our app called The Bulletin, an AI-powered automated list that summarizes the most important storylines of the moment in under a minute. Despite this new design and paywall, on-site traffic grew 13% during the first half.
-In nine months since launch, TicToc by Bloomberg has already exceeded 370,000 followers on Twitter and has over 2 million average daily video views. We’ve expanded globally to deliver on our promise of a trusted news network native to a digital and social world. TicToc continues to experiment and innovate, having optimized discoverability on Twitter with Moments, released a new live ad product, and launched a TicToc-branded daily newsletter and podcast. We’re garnering high praise from the industry with awards from the Shortys and The Drum. Most recently, TicToc was named a finalist in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design 2018 Awards for Web Design. The team is currently charting TicToc’s next evolution and growth phase. More to come.
-Revenue for Bloomberg Live, our live events platform, expanded an impressive 164% in the first half of 2018 year-over-year. New global franchises like our tech-focused conference brand “Sooner Than You Think”, which we launched in Paris and Singapore, are the types of projects fueling this growth. In support of our company-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion, our new “Business of Equality” franchise extended across multiple platforms with our news-making summit in May serving as its centerpiece. In addition, bespoke event experiences created for clients, which we expect to more than double in number this year, are a significant growth contributor.
-Our commercial model focused on strategic services now has an organizational framework that is allowing us to work smarter and faster. We’re leveraging our business intelligence, creativity and talent to engage with clients in new ways that are unique for a media company. Our relationship with the business audience positions Bloomberg Media Group as the ideal partner for brands seeking to engage with them. We’ll have more to announce soon as the model evolves.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed your summer. September is always a busy and inspiring month, and I’m excited for what’s ahead.Best,