By Justin B. Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group
Bloomberg L.P. has built a significant media business over the last 20 years. Our television, digital, magazine, radio and live event platforms span the globe. Our influence is considerable, but Bloomberg Media’s greatest potential has yet to still be realized.
This will be a historic year for the media industry. Technology is disrupting every distribution platform. Consumers are redefining decades-old consumption habits. Advertisers are fleeing traditional media in favor of large digital audiences and the precise targets and metrics available on digital ad platforms.
This shift presents a huge opportunity. As our traditional competitors buckle under their own legacy weight, we are unencumbered, benefiting from a series of unique corporate advantages: the Bloomberg business model; our owner’s insistence on long-term perspective; a culture of disruption; and an established tradition of high-quality journalism.
Seizing this opportunity will require long-term investment and a large appetite for transformation, risk, as well as a tolerance for intermittent failure. But the Bloomberg culture, long defined by urgency, entrepreneurship and adaptability provides a great foundation for this work.
Bloomberg Media is setting out to build a leading digitally-led, multi-platform media company for global business. We want to become the indispensable source of information for the world’s most influential people. To do so, everything we do – from digital and TV to live events and magazines – will require ongoing re-imagination and re-invention. There’ll be thousands of important decisions and inflection points along the way, but winning begins with six big steps:
Broaden Our Audience
Bloomberg Media’s original target audience was the global financial industry. This strategy successfully established Bloomberg as the premium content, data and analytics provider for financial institutions worldwide.
As our parent company expands its market beyond the finance sector, Bloomberg Media’s focus must broaden as well. Acquiring Businessweek was an important first step, but we must go further by decisively shifting our focus to global business in order to attract and engage an even broader audience of business decision makers.
Launch New Digital Destinations
The future of media and influence is digital and our first major step will be to align our efforts with this profound market shift.
The trend lines not only point to digital, but also towards further media fragmentation. Consumers are replacing “one size fits all” experiences with patchworks of deeper, more narrowly casted content environments that provide depth, context and community.
Today, we offer consumers two digital entry points in Bloomberg.com and Businessweek.com, but the differences between them are not as clear to consumers or advertisers as they could be. Bloomberg.com is a general business offering, but users rely on it primarily for its markets and finance content. Businessweek.com is a magazine companion site still searching for its digital rhythm. Our digital branding and product strategy needs to be clear and intentional. Consumers should have no doubt about the nature and value of our digital offerings.
Our strategy calls for building out a portfolio of new digital assets that better align our content offerings to global business audience segments. This realignment will help us go bolder and deeper, signaling to consumers outside of finance that Bloomberg has the media products for them, while providing advertisers with a more targeted way to reach their most important audiences.
Digital Video Innovation
Digital video is a golden asset. With limited inventory and surging advertiser demand, publishers who can make and distribute high quality video to influential audiences at scale can realize tremendous growth.
Thanks to a powerful combined TV and digital video operation, Bloomberg is already a global leader in digital business video streams. To extend our leadership position, we will invest aggressively in digital video innovation. From content formats to distribution channels and partnerships, we will place large bets on inventing the future of global business digital video.
Grow Global Business TV
Television is traditional media’s most resilient business and Bloomberg Media intends to compete vigorously with a strong and expanding global television product. By broadening the target market from financial professionals to global business professionals, we will establish a new category of business TV available in 340 million homes around the world.
Our TV content will be closely integrated with the new Bloomberg digital destinations, and our content viewing experience will be designed for consumption across multiple platforms. While we currently lag our traditional linear competitors, we are well positioned to disrupt with direct streaming, over-the-top, and on-demand experiences.
Invest in Print and Radio
Print remains an important vehicle for driving influence around the world. We will continue to invest in our print magazine and radio platforms, while our competitors pull back.
Print will be complemented by critical extensions into digital, TV, and live events (as we did with Businessweek’s ‘The Year Ahead’). We will also expand our international footprint through more aggressive licensing efforts. Transforming our print publications into wholly multi-platform brands will propel them to their fullest potential.
Bloomberg Businessweek’s sensibility and range – witty, visual, forward-looking and global – will power our march into the larger global business audience across all platforms, while maintaining weekly print editions.
Bloomberg Markets will offer the same award-winning market insight and expertise, but the editorial focus will expand to a wider financial professional audience.
Bloomberg Pursuits is quickly becoming one of the premium global luxury magazines and a platform for luxury advertisers to market their products to a coveted audience. With its rapid success, we are going to increase print frequency and integrate Pursuits across platforms, including TV and events.
Ninety percent of Americans still listen to the radio – and news/talk/information is the consumers’ preferred format. We’ll continue to bring Bloomberg’s coverage to listeners in New York and Boston while broadening to reflect our new focus on the global business audience.
Differentiate Through Design
In an increasingly commoditized media landscape, great design can be a powerful differentiator. Bloomberg Businessweek’s revival has been in large part due to the brand’s success with design innovation. Our strategy calls for applying a similar design standard to all of our media platforms.
Bloomberg Media is embarking on a full-throttle mission to build a leading digitally-led, multi-platform media company for global business. While we shift our approach, our values remain constant. Bloomberg L.P. was founded as an aggressive innovator and disruptor that upended an entire industry. Bloomberg Media’s new strategy continues this tradition in a different industry at a different time. The spirit of entrepreneurship, embodied by Mike, Tom and many of Bloomberg’s employees today, guides our work.