Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Infocommerce 2004 Conference: Morningstar Makes the Model of a Database Service Grown Up

From its humble roots as publisher of the Mutual Fund Sourcebook in 1984, Morningstar has grown its database of financial securities information and recommendations into a $139.5 million (2003) business that has an increasingly dominant position in the minds of individual investors seeking authoritative analysis and recommendations. This position has helped Morningstar to build a broadening range of services for investment advisors and financial institutions seeking similar services on a more sophisticated level. It's unusual for a content company to work this back-channel into B2B markets, but as Morningstar Chairman, Founder and CEO Joe Mansueto outlined in his keynote address at InfoCommerce 2004 keeping your content company focused on excellence and integrity can play a huge role in defining a content product that is difficult to resist. Morningstar's analysis tools employ industry-leading design and usability which are combined with increasingly broad and authoritative editorial content to make its coverage of over 100,000 investments an attractive choice for decision makers at all levels of the market. This authoritativeness helped land Morningstar a significant slice of the recent legal settlement that required major U.S. investment banks to make investment research available from independent suppliers. The same expectation of authoritativeness also puts Morningstar under increasing scrutiny by securities regulators for even minor errors, but that's part of the game to which Morningstar has graduated. It's a small price to pay for a database service that focuses on the long-term interests of its clients and its product team. In Morningstar database and directory publishers have a great paradigm to emulate as they learn how to adapt to a marketplace empowered by individuals and institutions that aren't afraid to click to the next player in a trice if a product fails to please.
Post a Comment