Bloomberg LP founder Mike Bloomberg and Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey sat down at Bloomberg Media's NewFront presentation on Monday (May 1) to talk about their collaboration on a 24-hour-a-day breaking news network, as well as doling out some career and business advice.
As it turns out, their joint venture proves they’re not averse to taking their own medicine.
According to a press release, the network will launch in the fall and include “user-generated breaking news video from citizens, curated and verified by Bloomberg editors, along with live video and reporting from Bloomberg journalists around the world.”
Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith called the collaboration “the reinvention of breaking news…enriching Bloomberg [journalism] with Twitter eyewitnesses” and said the brands hope to become leaders in breaking video news together.
Bloomberg himself said his eponymous media company and Twitter are two organizations with real skill sets that “virtually don’t overlap at all…and putting them together will create something that is useful for the world”.
Further, Smith said after testing this service with “thousands of potential users”, three quarters said they would make the network central to their daily news consumption and many also said it was more trustworthy than other news sources because it is backed by the Bloomberg brand. And, of course, there are plenty of integration opportunities for advertisers.
Smith believes the point about trustworthiness is a huge part of why the brands are working together. He said Bloomberg sees a big opportunity in news in the “growing gap between what the audience wants and what it is able to find”.
Scott Havens, global head of digital at Bloomberg, said that audience includes affluent, educated consumers and executives - and Bloomberg doesn’t want to deviate too much from its brand here. However, he also noted Twitter’s audience is global and younger, which is “never a bad thing”.
“How many people do you know deeply satisfied with news sources?” Smith asked. “On the one hand, there is more news and more news sources than ever before in the history of the planet, but levels of trust and belief in that news is declining rapidly. It doesn’t take a genius to state the state of the digital news model is broken…the Internet is teeming with questionable content. Global news providers are stuck defending legacy models while the breaking news game has shifted to social media.”
Havens wouldn’t comment on what the deal means for Twitter’s future, saying instead Bloomberg sees this as an opportunity to rethink how news is created and disseminated.
“Twitter is the platform about what’s happening now,” Havens said. “We have this amazing infrastructure and desire to do more around video news, so I hope it’s successful for both of us.”
Both Bloomberg and Dorsey touched on the idea business must “disrupt or be disrupted”, with the latter saying a lot of companies start out with one intention and over time see how people use their product or service and then the company itself can use that takeaway as input when making decisions for future iterations. Funny enough, that’s exactly what happened with Twitter – users don’t want to just share what’s going on with them, but what’s in front of them.
“What gets me excited and inspired is people using our platform in ways we weren’t expecting and ways we didn’t design,” Dorsey said. “For that to be global feels phenomenal.”
The press release noted this network marks a significant expansion of Bloomberg’s television and video strategy. Bloomberg Media is the consumer-facing media organization of Bloomberg LP, the multi-platform media company for business and finance. Bloomberg Media includes 2,600 journalists and analysts in more than 70 countries.
See here for more reporting on NewFronts