Fast-forward at Reuters

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The pace of new online-video programming has accelerated in the last several months, as media companies scramble to create video-based marketing vehicles for customers eager to align their brands with online content.

Reuters Insider, part of Thomson Reuters Corp., is the latest entry into online-video sweepstakes.

The Web-based video service, which debuted in May, offers multiple channels featuring content produced by the company’s 2,800 worldwide reporters and 150 content partners, such as CNBC and Forbes, plus dozens of financial-service companies. It enables subscribers to follow the specific markets relevant to their work and reconfigure the video according to their needs.

About 15% of the content on Reuters Insider comes from Reuters’ studios; the remainder is generated by content partners. Thomson Reuters is still working on its revenue-sharing strategy with partners, said Lee Ann Daly, exec VP-CMO of Thomson Reuters Markets, who is helping to develop the marketing efforts for Reuters Insider.

Reuters Insider is currently available for free, but this fall will be integrated into Thomson Reuters Eikon, the company’s next-generation financial desktop platform. It will be offered by subscription. Thomson Reuters would not confirm reports that subscribers pay $2,000 a month for the media company’s desktop services.

“Reuters Insider is a technology platform that is disruptive in a positive way to the work flow of clients,” Daly said. “We want to get more people to understand what it is and want to bring their content to it, because it is brand-building opportunity for [financial service companies].”

She added: “We get the reputational shot in the arm of having Morgan Stanley or JP Morgan Chase & Co. [produce video segments] and the best people in those organizations wanting to lend their faces and their voices” to the video content.

Thomson Reuters is plugging Reuters Insider with TV spots as well as online and print ads and a viral marketing campaign called “Chart Karate.” So far, the marketing site has garnered about 105,000 visitors and more than 21,000 registrants for Reuters Insider, according to Reuters.

The video service, which is organized by market, sector, company and people/job titles, offers several tools for users to self-broadcast research, market commentary, morning calls and trade ideas straight to the desktops and mobile phones of Thomson Reuters’ customers via their own branded channels.

For example, when a video appears on the computer screen, a text-analytics tool makes an instantaneous transcript, allowing users then to search via keywords that are most relevant to them, Daly said.

“If I’m an oil trader and only want to view video that features the keywords, ‘light sweet crude oil,’ I can search that term and all of the video clips with that term will pop up,” Daly said. “Traders can share the video, back it up to see what the context was, or fast-forward to see what’s next,” Daly said. “The essence is hyper-targeting.”

Tom Stein, president-chief creative officer of b-to-b ad agency Stein Rogan+Partners, said business publishers could learn a great deal from Reuters Insiders. “When you think about media brands in b-to-b, they’re in an advantageous position because they have so much access to so much content to begin with,” he said.

He added, however, that b-to-b media brands still need “to take significant steps” to invest in more user-friendly video programming.

“They need to do more video content if they want to survive,” he said, adding that despite a still-slackening economy, publishers have to find ways to pump up their financing of online video. More sophisticated video programming, Stein added, is going to become “mandatory,” among business publishers “because business consumers increasingly want information through online video.”

Reuters Insider is one component of a $1 billion plan by Thomson Reuters to update the media company’s online capabilities. The plan comes a little more than two years after Thomson Co. bought Reuters for $17.2 billion, creating Thomson Reuters. M

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