This obsession is as strange (and, frankly, boring) to our readers as it is to us, so we won’t dwell on it.
What we will do is point out again what we pointed out this morning: Reuters has a lot bigger things to worry about than us.
Namely, Bloomberg—the up-and-coming news-and-information-behemoth across town, which has largely supplanted Reuters as the go-to information source for the financial world.
Bloomberg and Reuters have become duopolists in the fantastically profitable “terminal” market, in which they package news and data and sell it for colossal monthly subscription prices to financial traders (Bloomberg terminals are $1700 a month). Both companies then use these humongous profits to fund news-gathering operations that are larger and wealthier than any others in the world.
A decade or two ago, predicting that the global financial news-and-information market would eventually become a “duopoly” would have been an insult to Reuters, which ruled the roost. But over this period, the scrappy Bloomberg has usurped Reuters’s dominance and turned Reuters into an also-ran.
Worse (from Reuters’ perspective), Bloomberg is now using the gigantic profits from its terminal business to go after the Reuters global news franchise—not just in “financial” news but general news as well. Bloomberg has recently become quite explicit about the fact that it wants the Bloomberg brand to become as synonymous with global news as Reuters’ once was, and given Bloomberg’s general competence these days, it seems reasonable to conclude that they might succeed.
So if there’s any competitor that Reuters should be freaking out about, it’s probably Bloomberg.
To illustrate Reuters’ problem, here are two recent charts from Aite Group, a research firm focused on the financial industry.
The first one shows just how big a lead Bloomberg now has over its once-dominant competitor in the wildly profitable financial information market:
The second, which contains better news for Reuters, illustrates that although global financial firms have largely abandoned Reuters as their primary information provider, most still keep it around as a secondary source.
So maybe there’s still some hope…
UPDATE: A Reuters executive asked us to clarify with Aite whether these numbers were US-only or global. The analyst who prepared the Aite report, Danielle Tierney, says they are “primarily” US. The Reuters executive suggests that the numbers would be quite different internationally. So that’s more good news for Reuters.
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