Bloomberg’s Revenue Chief On Bridging Data, TV And Terminals

PaulCaineBloomberg Media is at an inflection point.

The business and financial media company has had numerous high-profile exits (including Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel and Bloomberg’s chief digital content officer, Verge co-founder Josh Topolsky) following former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s return.

A number of layoffs resulted as Bloomberg Media pulled back on nonbusiness content in order to refocus on its core audience: business and financial market-makers, many of whom rent (for a reported $21,000 a year) Bloomberg Terminals, a proprietary software platform that accesses financial market data.

Most of Bloomberg’s revenue comes from these terminals – and the relationship between the equipment and the media brand is tight.

“Through the Bloomberg Terminal, we have the world’s most lucrative paywall,” Paul Caine, global chief revenue officer for Bloomberg Media, told AdExchanger. “Our readers are buying the brand.”

A veteran of Time Inc., Caine came on board in June 2014, tasked with overseeing and growing Bloomberg’s ad sales efforts worldwide. Under Caine, Bloomberg restructured its sales organization so reps could sell cross-property and renewed its emphasis on ad products through its first advertiser NewFront in April.

A big area of focus is brand integrations – through the launch of creative services like Bloomberg Media Studios – and an emphasis on cross-screen video formats for advertisers.

Bloomberg TV’s latest launch is a financial morning show, “Bloomberg <GO>,” for both broadcast and streaming video.

Bloomberg estimates total audience distribution in upward of 300 million across all of its properties with 82.5 million digital video streams per month.

Caine spoke with AdExchanger about Bloomberg’s strategy for “<GO>,” its developing private video exchange and the Bloomberg audience data advantage. 

AdExchanger: Do you monetize your TV and video inventory the same way?

PAUL CAINE: We think of our digital platform as the primary way to communicate with consumers, television being our second platform. But both are equally important to us. All of our platforms are fully global and reach the broadest swath of our consumers, defined as the most powerful and influential people in the business world.

We [launched on] Oct. 5 “Bloomberg <GO>,” which is a very tight three-hour program that provides the news and information for the most powerful and influential consumer. We’re the largest provider of original digital video content, and our video views are exploding. All of our broadcast videos have an incredible connection to the digital side, and it becomes an accelerator.

How have advertisers responded to the ad formats – a swipeable cross-screen unit and a full-screen video takeover you launched at NewFronts?

We announced a product called B:Intent at the NewFront. It was one of the new data and analytics tools we launched through our ad innovations team. B:Intent helps understand what customers’ intent is and the reason they’re coming to stories – whether it’s to learn, be entertained or to seek information. We can find who you are based on your intent and target advertising accordingly.

We also launched more recently a product we call Trendr. There’s a type of consumer who’s seeking out trending stories and there’s a certain type of creative message that’s most effective to reach those consumers. Trendr connects the two together.

Are you selling a swipeable cross-screen video unit like Responsive.TV programmatically or is that all direct?

It’s definitely high-touch. You would think that inventory could be exchanged through programmatic means, and it could absolutely be put into programmatic, because it is video inventory. But at the same time, it’s sold out. If we sell it out through our high-touch means, the inventory is not going into programmatic.

What are you allocating toward programmatic?

It’s really just another style of buying, not anything else. But we understand and absolutely appreciate why advertisers are embracing programmatic. We’ve seen more advertisers dedicating a portion of their investment to programmatic and then another portion to very high-touch buying.

All of our text, video and audio platforms are engaging through programmatic. All of our inventory is available through private marketplaces so people can buy using our data or their data. We’re working with PubMatic and Tremor Video for this, and others as well.

On the high-touch [side], we’ve got a highly educated multiplatform sales organization ready to work with every client to develop a premium engagement to either complement their programmatic messaging or to be their primary form of communication.

 How would you describe your audience data strategy?

We are absolutely hungry and eagerly seeking out more information about our consumers. The [Bloomberg Terminal] is a key component of our business, but outside of that particular paywall, we don’t have registration on our sites so we look for our information through traditional data means. We do have newsletters and a very strong social presence, but through proprietary data and analytics, we’re able to understand consumer behavior across all of our platforms. And that’s what our platform B:Match is grounded in. It allows us to identify consumers not so we can necessarily target them off-platform, but on-platform and across all of our linear and digital platforms.

What’s next?

This is a really exciting time for Bloomberg Media with all of our product developments and the next stage of our evolution as we continue to revitalize and create this global brand. As you saw at the NewFronts, we were very aggressive going beyond audience targeting to determine how to be better audience “followers” and help partners tell their stories on our platform.

 

 

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