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The Bloomberg Pay Wall – Revenue vs Traffic

Bloomberg’s paywall reignites debate on free content

STUART FIELDHOUSE, DIRECTOR, HAWKSMOOR PARTNERS

COMMENTARY

Most hedge fund managers will be used to paying Bloomberg’s hefty fees for its data and trading services, but for the wider world Bloomberg is better known for its television and website news coverage, particularly financial markets news. It raised eyebrows in the financial media world in May however, when it announced that its web-based news would be going behind a pay wall.

Pay walls are still a major talking point among publishers of all kinds of content, raising questions like how much content to park behind a pay wall, what to charge for it, and how to maintain the sort of traffic advertisers will still be happy with.

Bloomberg’s decision comes a year after it experimented with its Businessweek property, which went behind a two tier pay wall. It is now bringing in a very similar model for its digital news, but also videos, newsletters, online television and several other features. Bloomberg is obviously happy with how things have gone with Businessweek, reporting that its reach has grown by 85% to a staggering 93 million unique visitors across both its on-platform and off-platform offerings.

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