‘Significant growth’: Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith on the accelerated shift to subscriptions

Digiday 30 Jun 2020 04:00
June 30, 2020 by Pierre Bienaimé

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Subscriptions are gaining ground as a major source of revenue for Bloomberg.

“We’re seeing significant, significant growth and gains,” Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith said at the Digiday Publishing Summit.

And that growth in the first and second quarter has proven sticky, according to Smith. “Some of the churn rates are consistent with previous churn rates. This is not just a short-term thing,” he said.

His forecast is that subscriptions will make up a rising and significant part of Bloomberg’s revenue, especially as income from advertising diminishes.

Bloomberg started its subscription business in May 2018, and Smith credits its “first phase” growth to the long brand-building that preceded it.

“The introduction of our paywall benefited from 25-30 years of Bloomberg LP growing out one of the largest newsrooms in the world, creating amazing content,” Smith said.

His outlook for future revenue also lies in live events, and he’s confident that the events business “will come back very, very strongly” once it’s safe to convene in big groups again.

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