Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dow Jones Enterprise Media Reorg: A Broader Banner for Solutions Selling

The announcement of Dow Jones' reorganization of their Enterprise Media Group may seem a little superficial at first - basically it's Dow Jones Newswires and their licensing and reprints business coming under the same banner as Factiva, other Enterprise Media properties are essentially unchanged - but in concept it's a pretty powerful statement as to where major aggregators are heading these days. The resources now combined as Dow Jones Content Technology Solutions enable Dow Jones to focus on adding value through content technology products and services across all of their native and licensed content offerings both behind enterprise firewalls and in the increasingly heavy-duty "Business Web" of online content services supporting enterprise markets.

In this new mix it's probably safe to say that the push is going to be more on the open Web side of things than into pure enterprise sales. Dow Jones isn't likely to be pushing more news tickers or DJ licensed content into enterprise accounts: this is all about trying to create more effective redeployment of content assets in online venues away from WSJ.com and other Dow Jones online properties. Two factors have to be prominent in senior minds at Dow Jones to prompt this move.

First and foremost the Reuters online media business is running at full steam through selective but savvy online content licensing in addition to its rapidly growing Reuters.com portal. Compare and contrast this with downright timid licensing of Dow Jones content into other online venues and the overshadowing of the Dow Jones brand in online venues by the Reuters "bug". When users pick the contexts that they want their news in you have to move with the flow. This has become easier since core content in the Wall Street Journal is moving away from commodity news and towards high-end analysis.

But the other key factor has to be Reed Business Information's small but significant steps towards positioning third party news content from its LexisNexis database online, as noted in our earlier post. Why have a licensing division puttering around with just one news wire when you can put them to work on repositioning licensed content from Factiva's database in a wide variety of new online and enterprise venues? Factiva has made some gains in revenues through its content integration strategies but it will take a far broader array of outlets and integration partners for them to gain a significant boost to their top and bottom lines. Factiva content licensors will also benefit from Dow Jones licensing teams streamlining portal deals and going toe-to-toe with long-time online value-add syndicators such as Yellowbrix.

Dow Jones has a lot of catch-up ball to play in online business information offerings but Rich Zannino and Clare Hart seem to be moving Dow Jones Enterprise Media into a much more effective position on the court. Expect a lot of interesting presentations from these two execs over the next few months as they start outlining their evolving visions of the "Business Web." Stay tuned here for further details...
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