Bloomberg L.P., the New York-based media company specializing in financial information and news broadcasting over a closed network, is setting its sights on the Internet. Today, the company will launch Bloomberg Interactive Television, a video feed of both live and archived news that will be Web-cast at www.bloomberg.com. Bloomberg executives hope that in making some of its content available to a broader audience, it can expand its media presence and woo blue-chip advertisers.
Unlike CNBC’s live Net broadcast feed that was launched last month, Bloomberg Interactive Television will be accessible to anyone with a 28.8 kbps modem, said Jonathan Fram, general manager of Internet, new media at Bloomberg. With the interactive TV model, advertisers will be able to purchase banners and 15- and 30-second video spots, and even sponsor content, such as Bloomberg Forums.
In order to make the video more accessible, the company is using Real Networks’ Real Player and Microsoft’s NetShow, both of which can transmit a limited number of frames per second for a video-like experience at low bandwidth. However, Bloomberg is hoping that upcoming technological advances will improve the quality with which video and other data can be delivered to a broad audience.
Recently, Bloomberg has seen an increase in ad sales from luxury advertisers such as Bloomingdale’s and Barneys across its media properties. The latter started advertising on bloomberg.com as of Dec. 1. While most of its $1 billion annual business continues to come from the $1,200 monthly subscriptions for proprietary Bloomberg Terminals, ad revenue has been climbing. The ability to sell ad space across Bloomberg’s television, radio, print and Web offerings “has absolutely opened up new doors to us [with new advertisers],” said George Geyer, head of advertising sales.
In addition, Bloomberg recently started a syndicated financial news and information service, the Bloomberg Web Channel, to syndicate to local television, print and TV stations which also have an Internet presence. The company has created similar services in other media.
Under the plan, Bloomberg will customize and jointly promote the financial news in a co-branded channel on each participant’s site, splitting ad revenue 50-50, Fram said.