Bloomberg Media clocks up 16% annual revenue growth

CEO Justin Smith expecting double-digit growth again in 2019.

Bloomberg: Smith and global editor-in-chief John Micklethwait
Bloomberg: Smith and global editor-in-chief John Micklethwait

Bloomberg Media, the consumer-facing business of financial information company Bloomberg, achieved 16% growth in annual revenues in 2018, according to a memo from its chief executive Justin Smith.

During the year, the publisher introduced a paywall around its previously free online content. Subscriptions start from $34.99 per month, although registered users can access up to 10 articles per month for free.

The company sold three times more subscriptions than its target amount and has set a goal of a 60% increase in subscriptions in 2019.

Smith declined to reveal actual numbers for revenues or subscriptions, providing only small details such as 15% growth in digital advertising revenues and 82% growth in revenues from events arm Bloomberg Live. There was a 1% drop in revenues across TV, print, radio, live events and licensing/distribution.

Predicting another year of double-digit growth in 2019, Smith was bullish about the financial impact resulting from advertisers that had signed up last year moving from initial planning phases into campaign executions.

Services that Bloomberg Media plans to invest in this year include TicToc, the mobile-first video news brand it launched on Twitter. Smith said he expected TicToc to roll out on streaming platforms later this year and there would be a foreign-language version "soon".

He continued: "International expansion will also be key to our growth in 2019. Our new television studio in Beijing is set to launch this spring, with a second Shanghai studio in the works. We have plans to pursue TV, digital and content expansions in Israel, Switzerland, Middle East and Latin America.

"BLIVE [Bloomberg Live] events will continue its rapid growth by deepening sponsor integration, creating new custom opportunities and expanding globally, with the Bloomberg Equality Summit launching in London and Dubai.

"Radio will continue its march towards digital platforms as we expand our podcast businesses. Businessweek and Markets magazines will continue delivering our most respected journalism across all our platforms. Opportunities will continue to emerge as we integrate further across platforms, services and teams."

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