Bloomberg Media CEO Justin B. Smith highlights strong Q3 results and digital accomplishments

@Justin_B_Smith sent the following memo to Bloomberg Media employees:

To:  Global Media Staff
From: Justin B. Smith
Subject: November Media Update

Dear Colleagues,

At the heart of our efforts to build the world’s leading business and financial company in service of Bloomberg LP is a commitment to innovation as we create a next-generation media model with new products, services, and commercial strategies.

While the media industry continues to face strong headwinds, we’ve successfully transformed our business to be majority digital (audience and revenue). We just closed our books for Q3 and I’m pleased to report a strong performance.

Our Q3 total advertising revenue grew +5% year-over-year, driven by digital growth in custom content, video, audio, and programmatic. September was our best digital advertising month ever – up +9% year-over-year. Digital advertising revenue has grown +25% year to date through Q3. Best of all, our Q4 advertising bookings are pacing even stronger.

Meanwhile, traffic across our digital network in August grew +21% year-over-year. Video across our owned and operated properties and on offsite platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube was a bright spot, reaching all-time highs and growing +48% and +210% year-over-year, respectively. We now have five launch partners secured for our forthcoming live breaking news network with Twitter, with more to come. These are exceptional results that should make us very proud.

Many factors are driving our digital success, but at our core, Bloomberg is a global technology and data company with a thriving culture of entrepreneurship. This provides us with a key advantage in Media because we can incorporate technology into all aspects of our business. As most of our product development is “in-house,” innovations in technology are central to our strategy and recent Q3 advertising success.

In this month’s update, I’d like to highlight a few examples of where technology has given us a competitive advantage.

  • In 2015, we offered 7 advertising technology products. Today we have 27. Our teams across digital and advertising operations and Engineering work seamlessly to develop new, technology-based solutions for our 1000+ advertising partners. This team is responsible for the successful launches of Trigr and Lens this year, both of which have secured significant commercial support.
  • For some years, we have been investing in “big data” collection in service of new business innovations. So far, we have collected data on more than one million users across our digital platforms. Our strategy has paid dividends in multiple ways: driving personalization on our site and apps; supporting editorial in automatically tagging stories with metadata; and powering our ad products like Trigr, for example, which have led to seven figures in revenue just this year.
  • We recently launched BHIVE, an innovation lab that brings together designers, engineers and product developers to explore new products and push the boundaries of existing initiatives. BHIVE has already begun informing our digital strategy by uncovering consumer insights and trends through research, while testing new ideas for our upcoming social news network with Twitter, a news aggregation capability, and the evolving Businessweek app.
  • We have been committed to download speeds as a key metric for our digital properties. Built in-house by our digital engineers, Javelin is our article and template design focused on speed. As the first application on our new continuous integration/continuous delivery system, Javelin allows us to cut page load time by 30-50%, and enables our engineers to automate processes that would otherwise take hours to complete.
  • We are strategically investing in OTT and connected devices where the future of television lies. On Amazon, we recently launched a new video flash briefing for the Echo Show device in July, which has doubled in audience-size since March. Traffic to our OTT platforms grew +12% month-over-month from August to September driven by Apple TV and Samsung TV viewership.
 As our business model continues to evolve and as we gear up for the launch of our breaking news network with Twitter later this year, advances in technology will continue to define all of what we do.