Local and vertical content is eagerly sought by national players, from The New York Times to Yahoo, MSN/Bing to AOL. Now, Thompson Reuters is leading the local, vertical charge for wire services.
In an aggressive push to lure traditional U.S. media away from the Associated Press, the information industry giant is moving into aggregation with Reuters America, striking content-sharing deals with local and vertical providers that it hopes will differentiate it from AP. Its first subscriber is The Tribune Co., which will halve its financial commitment to AP and incorporate Reuters America’s content into its Media on Demand content modules for Tribune papers.
Among the companies that will support Reuters America are Examiner.com, SB Nation and The Wrap. Examiner said that Reuters will begin distributing the local and topical content contributed by 65,000+ “Examiners” (with more than 6,000 being added each month). The local content aggregator reports that more than 22 million people see its content across 230 U.S. cities. In return for supplying locally targeted content, Examiner.com can publish Reuters’ work on its own vertical Examiner sites. The deal is similar to Demand Media’s agreement with USA Today and Hearst Newspapers.
SB Nation and The Wrap are adding sports and entertainment content, respectively. At ILM:10 last week, SB Nation CEO Jim Bankoff noted that the company now features upwards of 300 online sports communities built around teams, leagues and regions.
The big picture here? Reuters America clearly sees profitable potential in building aggregation around verticals. “Profit pools have gathered in vertical markets,” notes CEO Devin Wenig, in a memo announcing the initiative.