David Carr's coverage of Reuters Insider in the New York Times yesterday, shares a glimpse of the future of media in the financial community, at least as TV is concerned. As we've seen in other segments of the news media, particularly US politics, there is a limited value a single network can provide via 24/7 news coverage (and a lot of wasted airtime reiterating the same point over and over again). The result is incomplete coverage and lots of laughable sequences (see Jon Stewart's Daily Show for more information).
On the financial media side, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business, and a handful of others have been the stalwarts, providing this 24/7 coverage. They've been successful in attracting users, due to their breaking news during market hours, but have struggled in after-hours. Additionally, the content is usually quite bland, as its attempting to be a catch-all for all consumers of financial news.
Financial professionals are in need of in-depth, value-add content provided to them in a timely manner, and relevant to their specific needs. A bond trader wants to hear about bonds and bond-related news, not about retail sales and IPOs. A value investor doesn't want to see candlestick charts. A day trader doesn't want to listen to the same story reported over and over again, when news is breaking all day.
The future is narrowcasting. Providing users with a tailored, relevant content stream that can be accessed in real-time. Enter Reuters Insider for buy and sell side professionals.
Reuters Insider, as per their website and the NY Times article, will be attempting to offer video streams to users of their terminal products. The streams will cover content from major news networks and investment research firms, in real-time, both in video and accompanying text.
The concept is a very strong one and a potential win for Thomson Reuters, assuming they can convert enough of their users, and Bloomberg doesn't have similar plans in mind. To their benefit, they seem first to arrive at the concept, and have signed up some good partners.
Either way, this is where media is going, and at least for the moment, is a big win for innovation at Thomson Reuters.