Bloomberg Media is continuing to roll out products, using an uptick in coronavirus coverage as a way to experiment with new ways to entice advertisers and readers.
The Bloomberg Media team began brainstorming ways to have a better experience for readers who navigated to an article from search and have a “welcome mat for users who come in from search,” said Julia Beizer, chief product officer at Bloomberg Media.
“Generally speaking, we knew our audience was looking for a deeper perspective,” she said.
The tool, called Storythreads, went live last week and allows readers to catch up quickly on a single topic, then follow that particular story as it develops. First launched on Covid-19 content, readers can continue to get updates over email.
The publisher also hopes to use the tool as an advertising opportunity, where brands can buy exclusive sponsorships across Storythread content.
Publishers are moving faster than they have ever before to get new products off the ground to appease changing consumer behaviors and attract advertising dollars.
Those new products have included things like an app from Axios, a constantly updated live blog from The New York Times and new, ongoing video series from the likes of Business Insider.
Most publishers have seen an uptick in traffic due to Covid-19 coverage, Bloomberg Media included. March and April were record traffic months across the publisher’s digital network. Subscription sign-ups are also four times more than usual, the company said.
Bloomberg Media is also testing a new tool called All Caught Up, which uses AI technology to summarize relevant stories at the end of an article page. Readers can flip through the summaries to quickly catch up on the news. It’s currently in beta exclusively on Covid-19 coverage.
All Caught Up was incubated in Bhive, Bloomberg Media’s innovation lab and is being tested in the background to see how consumers respond, and whether it actually provides benefits in the-long term, according to Beizer.
“Ultimately things that we’re building right now aren’t throwaway coronavirus-only features,” she said.