Say good-bye to the black and amber look of Bloomberg.com.The financial news and data company completely redesigned the site, scrapping its black background for a traditional black text on a white screen look.
The new look debuts today as an opt-in for users. (You can see it live here.)
Bloomberg is trying to turn its site into the only page someone who cares about business visits. It will have a nice sampling of Bloomberg’s troves of data, breaking news, insight, commentary, as well as aggregation of the best business writing on the web.
We talked with Kevin Krim, head of Bloomberg.com. He joined the company in August, leaving Yahoo where a Yahoo employee told us he was “a star.”
Kevin says this is just the first step of many to come for Bloomberg.com.
Here’s the bullets of our interview, full Q&A below:
- Bloomberg.com hosts 500 stories each day, only 10% of all the news that hits the terminals.
- Bloomberg.com is a profitable operation.
- Kevin isn’t ready to scrap the BusinessExchange, Bloomberg’s Digg for business people which it picked up when it bought BusinessWeek.
- Bloomberg wants to kill the FT, Journal, Reuters and other rivals.
- No paywalls coming anytime soon, but expect some subscription products potentially.
- Bloomberg keeps investing in news operations because it sees great economics at scale. It also thinks that the company benefits in a number of other ways from successful a successful news operation.
Here’s our Q&A:
Business Insider: So you ditched the black and amber?
Kevin Krim: We’ve only had the black and amber for 4 years. It’s not our heritage.
BI: Why do a redesign?
KK: We felt it was critical to create a new platform, a new palette, a new canvas to deliver a must-use site for news throughout the day, every week. We already have a good global audience, we want to grow that.
BI: How many stories hit Bloomberg.com each day? What is that in relation to all the news you produce for the terminal business?
KK: There’s 500 stories a day on Bloomberg.com. 5,000 hits per day for the terminals, so the site gets about 10%. The terminals get really deep financial articles. Bloomberg.com has a different audience. Some of the deep finance stories aren’t for executives we appeal to.
We’re also focusing on aggregation. We’ll link to third party sites if we think its relevant to our audience, we’ll show it, no matter who it’s done by. There’s not a lot of options for business people. When they wake up in the morning, we want to be their one stop.
BI: So, basically you want to kill your rivals like the Wall Street Journal, FT, Reuters?
KK: That’s the idea.
BI: Is the website a profitable operation?
KK: Bloomberg.com is profitable. Adding BusinessWeek and scale makes it more profitable. Advertisers love our audience. We deliver high quality content, we have a large audience, an influential audience.
(Ed. note: After the interview, we circled back later to get more colour on this. We wondered if the site generates revenue to pay for those 500 stories, or if it’s just web designers. Essentially, what does ‘profitable’ really mean? The explanation we received: Every department has a P&L and the Web site is profitable. There is a staff dedicated to the site, including development, design, management, editing, etc., plus cost allocations for site content generated by the news team and other departments such as data and analytics.)
BI: What do you think of paywalls? Will Bloomberg.com ever have paywalls?
KK: If a user comes to our site, they know what they’re getting. There’s no teasers. It’s not an unreliable experience. Anything that gets in the way isn’t worth it for the users. We are committed to the free ad-supported model.
That said, we will look at certain subscriber products that are targeted in a very specific way.
BI: What about BusinessExchange, the social network for business people you picked up from BusinessWeek? Will you keep that going?
We’re happy with BusinessExchange, it’s a good approach for business users. Advertisers are happy targeting users, we continue to grow it.
BI: Why does Bloomberg continue to invest in news? When you read about the financial problems at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, even BusinessWeek, or other places, it seems like the news business isn’t a good business. Why dump resources into it? Why not focus on terminals and financial data?
KK: There is a bigger game, that’s why we invest. It’s strategic for the whole company. We believe we have a great combination of news, data, and insight on Bloomberg.com. We think media is inherently a good model as well.
It’s also supportive of a virtuous cycle to have Bloomberg.com be successful. We serve senior business executives that make market moving news. If a senior exec relies on Bloomberg.com, then a report calls, the executive will talk to reporter, who gets news.
I come from an Internet background. At scale, Internet businesses run with great economics. As for the competitors problems, that’s just not at play here. I’ve never been in those other organisations, but we have a culture of working together to create news for all outlets.
You'll still be able to stream Bloomberg TV through the web, something no other business network allows.
Since we've mostly look at the top of the page, why not peek at the bottom? We like the colours, how about you?
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