In a departure from previous practice, Reuters, the venerable wire agency, has started putting out exclusive content on its website, Reuters.com, in an effort to differentiate the website from others.
The wire agency, run by Canada-based Thomson Reuters Corp, is trying to adapt to a new web-oriented media world where the cost of distribution is next to nothing.
Like other traditional wire agencies, Reuters has largely been a ‘B2B’ supplier, providing its news articles to other publications that ultimately delivered them to the hands of the consumer in the form of printed newspapers, magazines and video. Reuters, in turn, was paid by the newspaper or magazine or TV channel for the content.
However, with the advent of the Internet, agencies like Reuters, Bloomberg, PTI etc have found that they too could directly distribute their content to customers without intermediaries.
While PTI, the Indian wire, has so far refused to compete with its own clients by trying to distributing its content to the public on its website, the other two have been distributing their articles on their websites. These websites competed against those of their clients, often with the same articles.
Perhaps with a view to differentiate itself, Reuters.com has now started serving ‘exclusive’ content that readers will not be able to find on other websites.
Such articles carry a warning to clients that they “cannot be reproduced without permission.”
At present, the number of such articles is very small. Samples include an interview with Indian Finance Minister conducted by Reuters’ South Asia bureau chief and an interview with Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal.
Reuters had recently moved its entire global online operation from Toronto to Bangalore, where it has set up a new team to handle the group of over a dozen region and country focused websites under the Reuters.com umbrella.
According to insiders, the ultimate aim of the company is to position the website as the main go-to destination for breaking news and analysis. The company also has several other more profitable products that supply specialized information such as financial data, legal data, scientific information etc..