Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Factiva Signs News Deal with LexisNexis for Legal, L/N Gets WSJ for First Time - Updated

"Good content is where you find it" is a recurring theme in The New Aggregation, a theme that Factiva seems to have signed up for in spades just now. The announcement of Factiva news content being made available via LexisNexis came across my emails early today and is sure to be reverberating through the world of content for some time to come. There are many aspects to this deal that need to be examined more carefully, so we'll be updating this item as the day moves along, but at first glance there seem to be three key factors to this deal. First, it's been no secret to anyone that Factiva market share has not been growing significantly this year, so some new inroads needed to be made quickly to boost revenues in the eyes of its parents. Factiva does decent work of penetrating the legal market with its ten-year relationship via Thomson West and its own platform, but LexisNexis will allow Factiva - and parents Dow Jones and Reuters - to gain improved access to a broad swath of the Legal marketplace with an extremely broad content base, thus allowing Factiva to concentrate its resources on more specific market opportunities more effectively. Secondly, the refreshing of Thomson Dialog's realtime news capabilities to fit in more effectively with other Thomson content stablemates - including WestLaw - provides both Factiva and LexisNexis with strong motivation to position themselves as quickly as possible with freshened Thomson alternatives. Thirdly, though Factiva is an autonomous unit, unswayed in theory by its parents' needs, Factiva must recognize that some new thinking is required about how to position their key assets - Dow Jones and Reuters content. There's more to gain with LexisNexis' recent lock-in deals with major governmental and legal bodies than to lose via Thomson technology that lost out to LexisNezis content in those deals.

The question to be answered yet is what desktops Factiva DOES want to own, and how? This is an unfolding story, more to come.
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