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Bloomberg Strikes Again

Company’s latest move for a wider audience means Bloomberg Markets will be taking on Forbes, Fortune—even Time
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Bloomberg Markets magazine has been flying under the radar—surprising, considering its readership consists of some of the country’s richest CEOs and financiers. But now it’s introducing a new franchise and taking the fight right to bigger rival titles.

For a cover story set to run in October, the magazine will put together a ranking of the world’s 50 most influential people, to be accompanied by a summit at New York’s Morgan Library in September. The list suggests comparisons with big institutions like the Time 100 and Forbes 400. But Bloomberg Markets’ version will be defined by business.

“This is a combination of business leaders, government leaders, financial leaders, economists, analysts, and everyone in between, who run the world’s financial markets,” says publisher Michael Dukmejian. Dukmejian says the list’s aim is no less than to take on competitors like The Economist, Forbes, and Fortune.

The lesser-known sibling of Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Markets started out as a dry guide for Bloomberg Terminal users, who get the magazine as a perk along with their terminal subscription. But parent Bloomberg LP has been trying to push it out of obscurity. (If it appears that Markets could be competing with Businessweek, Bloomberg points out that while the latter is for the general business reader, Markets is smaller circulation, monthly, and targets highly affluent readers.)

This is just one more part of Bloomberg LP’s ambition to turn itself from a niche financial news and information business to a global, mainstream media player. To that end, it bought Businessweek; launched Bloomberg Government, a subscription political news service; and started Bloomberg View, an opinion section. Then it poached well-known journalists to staff them.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg Markets underwent a redesign and launched a trade campaign to position its readers as the “global financial elite.” In December, the rate base will increase to 375,000 from 355,000 at a time when magazines are generally cutting, not growing, circulation.

The image-burnishing seems to be working with ad buyers. The July issue is up 81 percent in pages over last year, and the magazine has brought in new luxury advertisers like Jaguar and Mercedes.

“We’re a magazine that a lot of people in the media-buying community haven’t paid a lot of notice to,” Dukmejian says. “Now, we’re trying to position ourselves as a broader, consumer-based magazine.”