May 2, 2018
Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group , and John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg sent the following memo to Bloomberg Media employees:
Over the last few years, we’ve been on a journey to evolve into a digitally-led global business and finance media company.
Bloomberg’s digital reach has grown 85% since 2015 to 93 million monthly unique visitors across on-platform and off-platform digital content. We owe much of this growth, which is increasingly global, to the quality and relevance of our data-driven business and financial content. While part of this audience expansion is due to the rise of major social media platforms where our journalism is shared and featured, direct “on-platform” traffic to Bloomberg’s digital platforms has risen impressively by 30% over the last three years to 62.5 million visitors worldwide. In the first three months of this year, we hit major milestones: the highest traffic quarter on record for Bloomberg.com and, in March, our consumer app’s highest monthly traffic since its relaunch in 2016.
Video is also reaping the rewards of our investments. Our video audience has grown 192% over the last three years and is a key driver of engagement across social platforms, most significantly and of late on Twitter, with the successful launch of TicToc by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, we continue to outpace the advertising industry. From 2014 through 2017, digital ad revenues have grown more than 54%, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 16% per year.
We’ve also been exploring ways to drive revenue growth from our digital readers. Last June, we introduced a metered paywall for Bloomberg Businessweek, which has driven a 45% increase in new subscriptions through the site. Unique visitors to Businesssweek.com have also grown over 20%. Not only have we been able to improve site traffic, we’ve also converted subscriptions through digital channels. Now we plan to leverage our successes as we enter the next stage in our digital journey.
Today, we’re extending our subscription model across Bloomberg Digital. To continue our growth trajectory, you’ll also see a redesigned Bloomberg.com and consumer app experience, new content hubs and innovative digital features.
Bloomberg produces smart, trusted, objective and data-based journalism in 120 countries around the world — content that we believe is worth paying for. Other news organizations already have proven that readers are willing to pay a fair price for premium content. It’s time for us to boldly signal to consumers the value of our journalism.
At launch, our subscription model includes two packages:
Digital, at $34.99 per month (after a $9.99 monthly trial offer for the first six months), includes full access to Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg mobile and tablet apps, a live stream of Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg videos, podcasts and subscriber-only daily newsletters.
All Access, at $39.99 per month (after a $9.99 monthly trial offer for the first six months), includes unlimited digital access to all the content mentioned above, as well as the weekly Bloomberg Businessweek magazine and access to BloombergLIVE exclusive events.
We’re setting the paywall meter at 10 at launch. That means all users will have access to 10 free articles per month and 30 minutes of the Bloomberg TV livestream daily before they need to subscribe.
The launch of our digital subscription business coincides with a full redesign of Bloomberg.com, built with utility and mobile in mind and designed to help improve users’ access to our content. We’re completely rethinking how our content is delivered to make it more essential and useful.
We’re also releasing new digital features, including:
- A text-to-audio functionality that will read the news to users and make Bloomberg articles available via audio for multitasking on the go. This is a completely new mobile-friendly way in which our users can engage with our content.
- New content hubs: Bloomberg Wealth, Bloomberg Economics, Bloomberg Deals and Bloomberg Opinion will join the recently launched Crypto, Hyperdrive and Climate Changed content hubs.
- Regional newsletters across Asia, Europe and the Americas, available only to subscribers, delivered twice a day (The Bloomberg Open in the morning and The Bloomberg Close in the afternoon), offering curated summaries and analysis of key developments in the global business news cycle.
We’re committed to building our subscription business for the long term. This is a journey that will require adjustments along the way and a continued investment in our team and tools to be successful. Over time, our goal is to strengthen the relationship with our audience and use what we learn to improve our content and our advertising offerings, as well as inform how we can deliver even better experiences.
We’d like to thank our teams for the hard work over many months and the cross-discipline collaboration it took to bring this digital subscription business and site redesign to life. Now we have to sell it. Subscription businesses are built one subscriber at a time. Please spread the word. Encourage your contacts to look at it, sign up and continue to read our excellent journalism.
Justin and John