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The remaking of Bloomberg.com into a more appealing news site for a general business professional and major brand advertisers is being fully rolled out this morning with a heavy dose of opinion. With the addition of Bloomberg View, the opinion section it began crafting back in December, Josh Tyrangiel tells paidContent that the goal is to bring all the various moving parts of Bloomberg’s news operations together and do more than just just compete against its financial news rivals — it wants prestige.
Over the past year, Bloomberg and its primary competitors, Reuters (NYSE: TRI) and Dow Jones (NSDQ: NWS), have used their real-time data subscription products to support efforts to reach a wider audience with a greater array of general news offerings, such as more foreign coverage and distribution, investigative/enterprise reporting and opinion.
At the same time, its indirect news rivals such as CNBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) and TheStreet.com (NSDQ: TST), have moved aggressively into mobile and video, while CNNMoney has just refurbished its site to make it more compatible with all the devices users access content.
With so much activity overlapping at all these properties, does Bloomberg really need to do a major overhaul of its site? From a financial perspective, of course not. But from a relevancy perspective, absolutely, especially after just releasing its Bloomberg BusinessWeek subscription-based iPad app.
“Over the years, Blooomberg, has continued to add a lot of terminal subscribers,” said Tyrangiel, who is the editor for Bloomberg Businessweek and responsible for editorial content on Bloomberg.com and Businessweek. “The website was a gravy boat. We could get by with that. But the company wants to be the most influential news organization — and the web is the way to take advantage of of it.”
Among the other things Bloomberg wants to take advantage of is its 2,300 reporters in 72 countries and its HD-television network and package it all in a way that enhances the real-time data product. Ultimately, the cachet that it hopes to accrue, it will have time to build a stronger online ad operation. In March, for example, Bloomberg reformed the division that houses its TV, print, radio, mobile and digital media properties. It also gave Paul Bascobert, president of Bloomberg Businessweek, the additional role of head of Business Operations for the Bloomberg Media Group, as the multimedia unit is now called. The company hopes to make it easier to reach advertisers interested in Bloomberg’s cross-platform offerings.
Now that it has all these pieces in place for the site, Tyrangiel says it will take time for Bloomberg.com to develop a true identity. The hope is that Bloomberg View won’t just counter Thomson Reuters’ blog offering that it started doing over a year ago when it acquired Breakingviews for $18 million, but that it will develop a voice and tone that will help it set the news cycle’s agenda.
“What you’ll see on the site over the next few months is our best work brought to the fore,” Tyrangiel wrote in a memo on the Bloomberg Blog. “We’ll embrace the flexibility of the web so that our users get the smartest experience possible in the least amount of time. For example, if video conveys the message better and more richly, you’ll get the video. (And only the part that matters: no 10-minute epics on this site.) What web users won’t get is everything. Subscribers to the Bloomberg Professional service pay for the advantage they get from instant access to the extensive Bloomberg data, news and analytics. They’ll continue to get specialized exclusive content in real-time, in addition to the communications, charts, liquidity, functionalities, trade execution services, and the list goes on.”