The challenge of creating a news portal — and doing it in the middle of a pandemic — is massive.
The question arrises: Why launch such a service at this time and after many years of not designing a major product for the region, as was the case of Bloomberg’s TV service, in the 2000s?
Kaio Philipe, chief operating office and co-founder of Bloomberg Línea, answered that question and more during a recent Latin-American INMA Webinar.
Philipe referred to this initiative as “an ambitious project for the region.” The launch happened in a context of different consolidated competitors, which offer digital financial information services, traditional media, and news portals with Latin American reach.
Despite the latter, Bloomberg Media and Falic Media created, trying to fill a gap to offer a finance-oriented service for those users who prefer to search and access a variety of services from their mobile devices as a first option.
Additionally, they saw potential among more than four million new investors in Latin America, ordinary people, who started to invest for the first time in capital markets over the last 5 years, and who have an increasing interest in accessing financial education and personal finance news.
For this reason, Bloomberg made an alliance with Falic Media to launch Bloomberg Línea, which officially launched in August of 2021, leveraging content from 2,700 journalists and analysts from Bloomberg around the world plus a local staff across Latin America dedicated to Bloomberg Línea. The company and its staff want to turn it into the source of news for an audience focused on markets and business, a rapidly expanding segment in Latin America.
The platform features content from Bloomberg News, as well as original news produced by a team of more than 70 professionals to complement the content that is distributed in the region in digital media, social media, videos, and live events.
Falic Media, part of Falic Group, is a conglomerate with a diversified portfolio that includes travel, retail and duty-free stores, brand boutiques, gift shops, beverages and food, fashion and beauty brands, product distribution and e-commerce, gasoline, and hotels. It has offices in different parts of the world with its headquarters located in Panama.
“It’s an ambitious project because we started with local content,” explains Kaio Philipe, who does not believe in the premise of “one size fits all” and therefore highlights the importance of locally generated content, which in the case of Latin America, is written in Spanish, Portuguese, and some in English.
Bloomberg Línea is also a multi-platform that delivers content in the form of text, photos, videos, podcasts, and live events, both through the Internet and social media, in an organic fashion.
One challenge for the creators of Bloomberg Línea was the hiring of staff, taking into account the profiles of editors and reporters, and the focus of content depending on the country.
Instead of hiring an editor-in-chief for all Latin America, they decided to hire one for the Spanish-speaking region and another for Brazil, where Portuguese is spoken. Another newsroom resource is an experienced journalist from Bloomberg News that serves Bloomberg Línea editorial as a senior editor.
And in each nation, there is a country editor in charge of local offices. In countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and Panama, commercial, design, PR, and marketing staff has also been hired.
In addition to high-quality “cold” information on financial education and personal finance, Bloomberg Línea provides breaking news, lifestyle, business, travel, and sports news. A paywall model will be adopted soon.
Added to all this content is more generated by Bloomberg News globally, such as those of Bloomberg Green, Bloomberg Quicktake videos, Bloomberg Daybreak. In addition, the media company features local products created by Bloomberg Línea such as Espresso Bursátil, the list of “Los 500 de América Latina,” La mañana del peso mexicano, La estrategia del día (podcast with local content, by country), Traveling through Latin America trackers, and an audience-growing newsletter.
According to the traffic trend of the new portal, it could reach 4.9 million unique users by the end of 2021, 14 million during the first half of 2022, and 32 million users, organically brought, when the year ends, “a conservative projection for a online niche media outlet,” according to Philipe.
Traffic growth goes along the portal’s social media, which grow organically, without depending on Facebook only.
Audiences, at present, access mostly from mobile phones, with 64%, while access from desktops is 34% and 2% do so from a tablet.
As for Bloomberg Línea employees, 52% are women and 48% are men: “We’re very proud of that because we're supporting diversity,” he said.