Big Data And Filthy Lucre: Neil Irwin At WonkBlog-‘Here’s What The Bloomberg Data Scandal Reveals About How The Media Really Makes Money’

Full piece here.

It’s not just all puppy dogs and citizen-journalists out there:

‘Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has achieved the thing that every company desperately seeks: An economic moat, a way to achieve persistently high profit margins that competitors cannot easily encroach. It is a textbook case of a company doing everything it can to seize and maintain competitive advantage.’


‘In the heydey of print newspapers, reporters were part of a complex ecosystem that allowed publishers to maintain competitive advantage and near-monopoly status in order to make vast sums from selling advertising. In the current heydey of Bloomberg, reporters are part of a complex ecosystem to guard the data terminal business against competitors.’

Get ready for more data wars and information races, for wherever there’s a revenue stream, there are people maintaining it, tapping into it, and various others living off of it. No one likes a challenge to their near-monopoly.

Many digital publishers are paywalling-up.

News-gathering, investigative journalism and other functions of the paper used to thrive on the old revenue model. Now you can sell your cockatiel online for free, leaving some papers charging you to announce grandma’s death. The core technology has allowed very cheap access to share information, causing severe disruption.

Furthermore, that core technology is changing all the time, now going more mobile and interactive: Are blogs really being declared dead?

Bloomberg LP, however, doesn’t just focus on opinion blogging, political reporting, or cultural commentary, mind you. They go first where the money and information are. It’s a business model for the financial sector, one which has secured for itself a near monopoly on a certain kind of information and business reporting (where milliseconds matter, and millions can be gained or lost in that time).

As for near monopolies, this reminds me a bit of Microsoft, which got there first with a software package on nearly every machine, and has since maintained a competitive advantage quite well, and at times, ruthlessly.

Addition:  Laptop U?

Another Addition:  And of course I support open markets, they’re better than the government, crony-capitalist alternatives, but sometimes they can get a little monopolistic.

Related On This Site: Universities, take note.  Part of your core model can be made available to technology. Some of what happened to old media, brick and mortar business, is happening to you:

The Disruption Of Education-From AVC: ‘Video Of The Week: Mark Suster Interview of Clayton Christensen’

Good luck making money blogging:

A Few Thoughts On Blogging-Chris Anderson At Wired: ‘The Long Tail’

Whence journalism?:

From The Atlantic: “Information May Want To Be Free. But Not Journalism”

Jack Shafer At Slate: ‘Nonprofit Journalism Comes At A Cost’..

From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Via Sound Politics: Why Did The PI Die? 

Malcolm Gladwell argues here that apart from the information/journalism divide, the technology still ultimately costs something as well…”Free” is a utopian vision, and I suspect Gladwell knows this pretty well:  From The New Yorker: Malcolm Gladwell’s “Priced To Sell”

From The Economist: ‘No News Isn’t Good News’

Classic Yellow Journalism by malik2moon

Remember The Maine! The good old days…by malik2moon

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