Bloomberg Launches New Version Of Flagship Financial Service

Executives today lifted the curtain on “Bloomberg NEXT,” a new edition of the company’s core product that Bloomberg LP says will provide users with a richer and more intuitive experience.

The company claims new search and menu functions will make it easier for traders and other financial professionals to navigate layers of data. Bloomberg NEXT also offers new graphic applications that aggregate and display deeper pools of information.

Bloomberg says that 110,000 of its 313,000 clients have already signed up for the new service and that over 99% of them have decided to keep it.

The company is providing Bloomberg Next and related training for free as it seeks to retain the traders and other clients who pay about $20,000 per year for the service, which Bloomberg describes as a “three-legged stool of news, data and analytics.”

Bloomberg competes with Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) in the lucrative financial data market and reportedly overtook its rival for the first time last year.

Bloomberg NEXT is part of an effort to connect with a new generation of clients who grew up on internet browsers, and are more apt to use a mouse than the company’s customized keyboard. In the same way that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and other internet companies are trying to personalize the internet, Bloomberg NEXT relies on functions like AutoComplete and user profiles to offer more individualized information streams.

For the media industry, the Bloomberg and Reuters financial terminals are important because they provide income for news gathering operations that deliver financial and political information to both traders and consumers.

Bloomberg’s consumer products include its website, a TV channel and Business Week magazine which the company is attempting to reinvigorate through a series of shocking cover images.

Bloomberg NEXT offers a more personalized version of news for financial subscribers but will not result in immediate changes to the company’s consumer website. A company representative noted, however, that the website will undergo major changes by the end of the year.

Tom Secunda, one of Bloomberg’s cofounders, admitted during today’s press conference that “our numbers are going up a bit slowly” as a result of a North American financial sector that is still limping from the financial crisis. The company says emerging markets represent its most important growth segment.

Secunda laughed off a question about whether Apple’s lawyers might bristle at the use of “NEXT” (the same name as a 1980’s Steve Jobs computer company). Secunda said that, if Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) makes trouble, Bloomberg can always put up a fuss over the former’s use of “launchpad” in its new operating system.

Bloomberg was founded in 1981 by Mike Bloomberg, the current mayor of New York. Bloomberg and its rival Reuters were featured in the 2010 sequel “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”