Thomson Reuters launches Insider financial video

* Web video service Insider part of $1 bln investment plan

* Meant to reach customers brought up on Internet

* Most content to be generated by partners, users

* Users search video clips for information

By Robert MacMillan

NEW YORK, May 11 (BestGrowthStock) – Thomson Reuters Corp
(TRI.TO: )(TRI.N: ) launched a financial video news service on
Tuesday, part of a $1 billion plan to update its news and
financial data operation at a time when media outlets are
looking for new ways to appeal to their customers.

The Reuters Insider service delivers news, interviews,
financial data and other information in the form of video clips
over the Internet.

About 85 percent of the content will come from partner
sources, which include banks such as JPMorgan (JPM.N: ), Deutsche
Bank (DBKGn.DE: ) and UBS (UBSN.VX: )(UBS.N: ), while Reuters
journalists will provide the rest.

Insider will be largely unavailable to the public and will
not run all day, making it different from advertising-supported
business news channels such as NBC Universal’s CNBC, News
Corp’s (NWSA.O: ) Fox Business Channel and Bloomberg TV, though
Insider will include CNBC programming.

Thomson Reuters plans to integrate the service into its
desktop terminals, which now number about 500,000. Reuters will
make some programming available to the public online, but most
of it will sit on the trading terminals that people pay for,
said Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger.

The idea is to give viewers deep but short reports of three
to five minutes on a range of topics that mainstream channels
do not always explore, and to do it in a way that younger
generations who grew up with the Internet will recognize.

A sample from Monday included relatively top-line news
segments such as “Signs of Party Support Seen Easing Route to
UK Election Resolution” and more esoteric fare such as
“Short-Term Technical Support Seen For Beleaguered Euro.”




Insider lets people search transcripts accompanying video
clips for relevant words or terms, as well as parts of the
video clips that might be interesting, without having to watch
the entire segment to get what they need.

“The generation that is coming into the trading rooms …
now is used to getting multimedia information throughout their
lives,” Schlesinger said.

“We’re providing the multimedia opportunity in their
professional lives as well as in their personal lives.”

Insider also is meant to complement traditional Reuters
News coverage that financial professionals use to make trading

“Is video presentation of business news effective? Yes, we
know that from CNBC and Bloomberg,” said Jeff Jarvis, who
writes the BuzzMachine media and technology blog and is the
author of the book, “What Would Google Do?”

“This is different because it’s not that kind of ‘crack’
video where you have to keep it on,” said Jarvis, who
characterized Insider as “YouTube for the rich.”

“That means it can go deeper and be more specialized and
thus more valuable,” he said.

One challenge for the new service will be financial
professionals who say they already have plenty of competing
demands on their time.

“I don’t know when I’m going to watch this stuff,” said
Alex DeGroote, media analyst at London brokerage Panmure
Gordon, and a Reuters customer.

“But sometimes it’s nice to have it on in the background.
If I have it on the desktop, maybe it’ll become part of the

Insider, with about 130 staff, has been preparing for its
launch since October 2008, and has been in a “beta,” or test
mode, since June 2009.

Thomson Reuters declined to say how much it had spent on
developing Insider or what its budget would be.

Columnist David Carr in a New York Times article on Monday
said Thomson Reuters “is making a big bet on Insider, about
$100 million.”

A company spokeswoman declined to comment.

Many media outlets are exploring new ways, often rooted in
multimedia, to keep their journalism and information relevant,
interesting and worth paying for.

News websites from The Washington Post (WPO.N: ) to The New
York Times (NYT.N: ) are pushing video at their customers in the
hopes of appearing fresh.

Thomson Reuters has committed about $1 billion to these
efforts. This has reduced its profit margins for four
consecutive quarters, especially as the financial crisis caused
many financial industry clients to cut back.

The company said earlier this month that its investment
plans would likely cause its 2010 underlying free cash flow to
decrease slightly from 2009.

“We have been consistent in saying that we are committed to
margin expansion, but not before we invest in the products and
platforms that will simplify our business, drive sustainable
efficiency, and drive share and revenue growth,” Devin Wenig,
CEO of the company’s Markets division, said on Monday.

Investing Advice

(Editing by Ted Kerr)

Thomson Reuters launches Insider financial video