Tuesday, 10th March 2009
At a time when the web is changing how we consume information, many industry commentators are questioning whether traditional media business models can survive much longer. In the US particularly, major newspapers and magazines have been suffering from flagging advertising, have laid off staff and even gone out of business entirely (see Nancy Davis Kho’s recent posting http://www.vivavip.com/go/e16732).
Hailed as ‘the future of news dissemination’ Thomson Reuters (http://www.thomsonreuters.com) last week launched the beta version of its new Reuters Insight financial news product (http://digbig.com/4yjwk). Having laid off around 700 staff group-wide last year, the company has hired more than 100 multimedia journalists and technical staff to work on a streaming video service that will deliver financial news, market coverage and other multimedia content to users’ desktops.
Reuters Insight content will be fully interactive, will be viewable live or on-demand and, crucially, will be tailored to users’ information requirements, producing vertical, rather than linear programming. A multimedia perspective on stories will enable subscribers to view related transcripts and news articles alongside selected web videos.
This ‘narrowcasting’ of information, will allow users to focus on the information that is relevant to their requirements and to personalize channels and services. Video content can be edited and sent to colleagues and clients via email or mobile.
Thomson Reuters is hoping to steal a march on its financial news competitors Bloomberg (http://digbig.com/4yjtt) and Fox Business (http://www.foxbusiness.com) who have, to date, concentrated on delivering news in a live, 24-hour television stream, with a focus on continuous coverage. In fact, Reuters launched a television service for its financial news clients way back in 1993, but was forced to stop transmitting in 2001 due to high distribution costs. The company’s return to more focused and relevant programming could hail the shape of future news dissemination.
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