Media owners must find a sweet spot in the balance between reader and advertiser revenue to be able to absorb market shocks and Bloomberg Media believes it is getting closer to that optimal business model.

According to Scott Havens, Bloomberg Media’s chief growth officer and global head of strategic partnerships, the business has not only enjoyed a post-COVID spike in consumer subscriptions, but the publisher also expects to defy the wider industry downturn with year-on-year growth in digital advertising revenue.

That it appears to be riding out pandemic and recession rather better than many of its rivals is due in part to its unusual structure, the publishing and broadcasting empire – which includes broadcast cable TV channel Bloomberg Television and weekly print title Bloomberg Businessweek – being originally designed to support the promotion of its Terminal financial data software system, used by many of the world’s largest financial services organisations.

Speaking at the FIPP 2020 World Media Congress, Havens outlined how the brand had tapped a new audience when it lowered the paywall for much of its non-specialist COVID-19 content.

He also has high expectations for digital advertising, explaining that both business-to-business and consumer brands need to continue to communicate with existing and potential customers during the downturn: “The fact is marketers want to spend the money. They want to sell product, they want to reach a very affluent and decision-making audience like [the one] we’ve accumulated.”

In fact, he’s confident that 2020 will be a better year for Bloomberg’s digital advertising business than 2019.

“The dream has been for us in the last few years to build up to a place where we’ve got a diverse revenue model that includes a balanced consumer revenue model and a balanced digital advertising model, and we’re doing that and it’s working well,” he said.

On the digital side, the company is also setting its sights on winning some of the ad dollars currently being ploughed into the online video space. It’s launching QuickTake (its short-form video content channel originally named Tic Toc) globally as an OTT streaming product.

“If you’re not doing video and you’re not doing it on streaming, you’re at a disadvantage because that’s where the [advertising spend] is going to flow,” Havens asserted.

For more details, read WARC’s report: Why Bloomberg Media’s next move will be to launch an OTT service.

Sourced from WARC