October 31, 2010 11:06 pm

Bloomberg launches $2,000 newsletters

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Bloomberg is pushing further beyond its traditional financial data terminals with the launch on Monday of a series of newsletters, costing $2,000 per year each, aimed at extending its reach into niche professional markets.

The initiative follows Bloomberg’s acquisition of Business Week to capture more corporate readers, its relaunch of the monthly Bloomberg Markets magazine, the build-out of Bloomberg Law and its hiring of more than 100 journalists and analysts for Bloomberg Government, which tracks legislation, regulation and government spending.

A daily economics newsletter and three weekly titles covering hedge funds, mergers and structured notes have been available for free to customers of the Bloomberg Professional terminal service since June, and have amassed 35,000 subscribers.

All four will be offered to non-subscribers from Monday, with additional newsletters on other topics planned for the coming months.

Ted Merz, executive editor of the newsletter group, said the next title would cover leveraged finance.

The Bloomberg Brief newsletters will be sent digitally, as PDF files to be read on a computer screen or tablet computer, or text files accessible from a BlackBerry or other smartphone.

Brian Rooney, who runs product development for news, research and other Bloomberg Professional applications, said the four titles available so far were produced by a dedicated staff of about two dozen people.

Although they would draw on data and news from the main Bloomberg service, most of their content and commentary would be original, he said.

“There is a healthy and large newsletter industry out there,” said Mr Rooney, without giving details of the size of the market, but the emergence of Bloomberg as a competitor is likely to shake some rivals, given its deep pockets.

The private company recently announced that terminal subscriber numbers had hit a new peak of 295,000, and is expected to have revenues of $6bn-$7bn this year.

Mr Rooney reiterated Bloomberg’s ambition of becoming “the most influential provider of news, data, information and analytics for business professionals”.

The newsletters feature news, interviews, columnists, league tables and other round-ups of relevant data.

They also promote functions on the Bloomberg terminal and advertise Bloomberg events, highlighting how the company hopes to sign up non-users to its core service and to other revenue-generating businesses around it.

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