Simone Flueckiger of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers interviewed TheStreet.com CEO David Callaway about his plans to remake the financial news company.
Here is an excerpt:
WAN-IFRA: You said you wanted to turn TheStreet into more of a data-driven organisation. What were some of the major things that had to change?
Callaway: When most newsrooms talk about data, they’re talking about audience data that they use to develop their audiences. I’m talking about data as content that we sell. TheStreet is five different businesses. Three of them are news businesses, and two are data businesses, specific data businesses with specific different audiences than, say, TheStreet.com would have, and the pay models of the businesses are widely disparate. TheStreet.com is advertising-supported. My fastest-growing data business, which is based in London, is called BoardEx. Those clients pay somewhere between US$30,000 and $700,000 a year for a license to use the data.
Right there, that tells me that there is a market out there that values that data very highly, and it is financial data. It’s not market data or economic data. It’s data about people in the financial and legal industries, which is incredibly valuable to people in those industries. How can I take that data and do more with it? I apply a news function to it that our audience obviously finds valuable. How can we find what’s valuable there and turn that into a news product, so that I can spread the wealth across my company, across the divisions? When I say I want to make the company more data-driven, I’m really talking about using data not only to find new revenue streams from the business side, but to find new outlets for news.
Again, since it’s proprietary data, I can write news products from it, and that gives me somewhat of an advantage in an industry where we’ve been accused of all following the same sort of commodity news.
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