Like many news providers from Gawker to the Associated Press, Reuters had charged a small monthly fee to consumers who wanted to receive alerts, but Reuters has slowly eliminated subscription costs and is now set to introduce a revamped and wholly ad-supported mobile site
"From our experience globally, we've seen those kinds of trends," said Stephen Smyth, VP-emerging media, Reuters. "Instead of trying to fight the trend toward advertising we're embracing advertising as the business model for our services."
"We are very, very clear about the need for this business to make sense not just in the longer term but also in the short to medium term," Mr. Smyth added. "This is a business that we can make money from today."
The relaunched mobile site going live today at mobile.reuters.com offers new tools and expanded news categories for consumers as well as the opportunity for advertisers to procure a sponsored category. The kick-off and exclusive advertiser is Hewlett-Packard, who will use Reuters Mobile to promote its color laser printers in a campaign that also includes ads on Reuters.com and within Reuters RSS feeds. Banner ads for HP on the mobile site will allow users to click through to a customized landing page, allowing further interaction with the advertiser.
"We have somewhat of a clean-slate opportunity to basically structure our ad-sales force in such a way that we can really deliver on those sales opportunities and do the right types of allocations and so forth for the cross-media buy," Mr. Smyth said.