Monday, May 10, 2010

YouTube For Traders - Searchable News Video Streams

One reason why local TV can start packing its bags. Video will be big and dominate  the landscape, but it will be video streamed via the Internet as NYT media writer David Carr points out in this column. Journalism schools need to start training students for this market. -MT

New York Times -For half an hour last Thursday afternoon, CNBC was the most exciting place on television. Watching Erin Burnett and Jim Cramer try not to freak out — they acquitted themselves nicely — while the market tumbled like a drunken rag doll down a long staircase was amazing television, David Carr writes in The New York Times.

The rest of the time, as when the market is not suffering the largest drop within a single day of trading? Um, not so much. Even if you are an avowed business bobble-head, most of the time, CNBC and other financial channels are a kind of wallpaper. Business people mostly live in narrow verticals. If you follow and trade in uranium, it’s not going to pop up all that often on the linear channels of television.

So Thomson Reuters is trying to change television. Its new product, Reuters Insider, is a Web-based video service that captures myriad streams of information produced by the company’s reporters and 150 partners. The service, which will begin Tuesday, is something like a You Tube for the financially interested, albeit one that is available only to Reuters subscribers, who pay as much as $2,000 a month.

Using the main window of the service, called Channel One, subscribers can navigate by sector, date, markets or region, or apply filters to create their own personalized channels.

Thomson Reuters, which was formed in a merger in 2008, creating a $30 billion behemoth in financial news and information, is making a big bet on Insider, about $100 million. While its chief competitor, Bloomberg, is making inroads into consumer media with its purchase of Businessweek, Thomson Reuters is going in the opposite direction.

Why try to sell advertisers on a broad television network when you can get subscribers — investment banks, analysts, market players — to pay and pay dearly for the information ginned up by 2,800 reporters from 200 bureaus around the world, not to mention lots of other technical business intelligence from a curated group of partners?
The effort also tells us something about the place online video now occupies. “The trend that we are seeing in professional information is not all that different than consumer media,” said Devin Wenig, chief executive for the markets division of Thomson Reuters. “People are increasingly visual, and they expect to access information in that way. They want to be able to look at a chief executive and see the expression on the analyst’s face.”

Of course, just about anybody could go out on the Web and find gobs of people spouting off about financial matters. But Reuters Insider also produces almost real-time transcripts through voice recognition technology — the renderings are pretty rough, but useful — and then humans come behind and clean up some of those transcripts, while adding additional tags, links and other relevant information.

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