Robin Neidorf Further Buyer Perspectives on News Content
Jinfo Blog

Thursday, 3rd October 2013

By Robin Neidorf


Robin Neidorf reports on preliminary results of the FreePint Survey: News Needs and Preferences 2013, identifying the top rated variables when purchasing news products and where vendors such as Factiva and Nexis sit in terms of popularity. Participate in the survey until 11 October and receive a free copy of the report.


Beyond AggregationWithin a corporate environment, buyers of news content products care most about how they and their users can distribute and reuse news content. At least, that's what the latest FreePint Survey: News Needs and Preferences 2013 tells us with around a week to go in data collection.

As of this moment, we have 220 survey respondents, representing organisations in a range of industries and of varying sizes. Just over half of those report managing an overall budget to purchase content of more than £250,000. Over 85% report that their organisations have at least one premium news product in their portfolios.

Top Rated Variables When Purchasing News Products

We asked them to rate on a 1-4 scale how important different variables are when they consider a news product for purchase.

The variable with the highest average rating - 3.68 on the 4-point scale - is "Ability to distribute or reuse results". (See Figure 1)

Click to view

Figure 1

The importance of this variable highlights what buyers are really paying for when they license with traditional news aggregators: they want the news content, certainly, but they value most the efficiency of delivering reliable content to a wide range of people while eliminating the risks of inappropriate usage.

The variable next on the list is the advanced search features which premium suppliers invest heavily in developing. Advanced search tools and technologies, when overlaid on the right collection of news content, create the most efficient path to the right answer.

The actual content matters as well, and the next-highest average rating is for specific sources being included in the product.

These three variables summarise nicely the value that buyers want and need from premium products delivering news into their organisations, to wit:

  • Move the information throughout the organisation and use it where/however needed
  • Get to the useful stuff as efficiently as possible
  • Make sure the useful stuff is there in the first place.

Where Is "The Useful Stuff"?

Which vendors provide the right mix of access, search and other features, and content set?

Figure 2 shows current survey responses for primary product, secondary product and products under consideration for future use.

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Figure 2

Based on current data, Factiva and Nexis are the clear market leaders for both primary and secondary product bringing news into the organisation. While the majority report using Factiva as their primary product, a greater number report that their organisation uses Nexis as either a primary or secondary product. (NB with respect to Nexis usage: only around 15% of the respondents report that they work in the legal industry.)

An interesting result to note is the number of respondents - around 10% of the total data pool - who report that the Financial Times is a primary news source for their organisations. We include the FT in this list even though, unlike the other products, it is not an aggregated news provider, because a significant number of buyers take a direct relationship with the FT in order to maintain access to what they feel is a critical source.

What's In the Future?

The red line on this figure shows the number of survey respondents who report they are considering a product for future use. Moreover's Newsdesk and Acquire Media's are both common selections (and both will be reviewed by FreePint as part of the FreePint Topic Series: Beyond Aggregation).

This is a competitive market, and review of alternatives seems to be high on everyone's list this year: over 65% of respondents are at least "somewhat likely" to be considering alternatives to their current preferred product, and 28% report that they are actively investigating an alternative provider.

Participate - Final Week

There's still time to participate in the survey and request your free copy of the full report, with detailed analysis of the results of 20 questions. With six years of data to support our discussion of trends, the resulting FreePint Report: News Needs & Preferences 2013 will be a useful part of your research of the news marketplace and a helpful benchmark to support your internal discussions about resources and priorities.

Complete the survey no later than 11 October, and provide your email address at the end to make sure you receive your free copy of the report. Your response is fully anonymous unless you choose to identify yourself.

Editor's Note: Beyond Aggregation

This article is part of the FreePint Topic Series: Beyond Aggregation, which runs from October to November 2013. Register your interest, and you'll get pre-notification of when registration opens for any webinars in this series, as well as a free copy of the FreePint Report: Buyer's Guide on News Content when we publish in November.

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