Are Reuters and Bloomberg the future of news?
Moses writes, “Meanwhile, Bloomberg and Reuters, with the vast majority of their journalism paid for by non-advertising revenue, are already there. With their global footprint and vast distribution system, they are an enviable model. While print brands still struggle to adapt their content to digital platforms, these companies are churning out articles and sharing editorial costs across multiple outlets, from Web to TV to print. ‘This is the newsroom of the future, where television, print and digital are really connected,’ says Larry Kramer, founder of CBS MarketWatch. ‘Each one may not have to be profitable, but they will all contribute.’
“News is actually a relatively small factor in the bottom line of both Bloomberg and Reuters. While there are key differences between the two companies — Bloomberg is private and has only been in the news business for a couple of decades, while Thomson Reuters is public and has a news operation dating back to the mid-1800s — both have financial services at their center. News is a core part of their offerings, but it is their subscription-based businesses and financial intelligence that contribute the bulk of their revenue — 82 percent for Bloomberg, 90 percent for Reuters. Apart from financial services, Reuters has its subscription-based legal and tax and accounting units. For its part, Bloomberg has been expanding into new businesses, including Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Government.
“With their outsized role in the news ecosystem, the companies also raise some thorny questions about the future of journalism. On the one hand, their deep pockets subsidize content that might not otherwise see the light of day. Bloomberg, for example, will lose an estimated $20 million this year on the magazine Bloomberg Businessweek. And the global presence of both Bloomberg and Reuters is formidable, as other news outlets have been forced to gut or shutter their overseas operations.”
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