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Bloomberg Media is testing paid tiers for virtual events

Digiday 05 Mar 2021 05:01
discussing money
March 5, 2021 by Sara Guaglione

Like many publishers, Bloomberg Media had to adapt its events business by pivoting to putting on virtual events last year, when the pandemic brought an end to in-person gatherings. Now that the publisher has established itself as a competitor in this space, Bloomberg Media is beginning to test charging for attendance.

Like other publishers that sought a lifeline as the Covid-19 pandemic enforced stay-at-home orders, Bloomberg Media began offering virtual events in March of last year, but were free to attend to keep its captured audience engaged, in addition to the ad inventory that came along with it. The company is now experimenting with ways to take its virtual events strategy to the next level, as the vaccine rollout continues and a return to in-person events draws nearer.

The point of a “freemium” model — or one that includes a free offering as well as a paid one for access to additional features — is not to replace Bloomberg Media’s sponsor-driven events business, but is seen as a growth tactic, said Patrick Garrigan, global head of Bloomberg Live. It is an opportunity to bring audiences closer to Bloomberg’s content, journalists and stories — virtually right now, but eventually in-person too, he added. It can also drive subscriptions.

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