15 September 2019
Parry Ravindranathan (inset) says Bloomberg Gadfly is comparable to the Financial Times' Lex column. Photo: HKEJ
Parry Ravindranathan (inset) says Bloomberg Gadfly is comparable to the Financial Times' Lex column. Photo: HKEJ

Bloomberg launches Gadfly for fast commentary on breaking news

Bloomberg L.P. on Monday launched a fast-commentary platform called “Gadfly” on its terminal and website to provide readers with a bigger picture of breaking news stories.

“We are known for breaking news. What we are trying to do is to make sure the follow-up commentary associated with it is almost as quick and immediate as the breaking news,” Parry Ravindranathan, managing director at Bloomberg Media, Asia Pacific, told EJ Insight in an interview.

Ravindranathan said Bloomberg Gadfly is comparable to the Financial Times’ Lex Column.

“Gadfly is short and intelligent,” he said. “It follows a breaking story and immediately gives opinion on what the effects of the story are. All we need is vision.”

Gadfly is an expansion of Bloomberg View, an opinion section, and is led by Timothy L. O’Brien in New York with assistance from Edwards Evans in London, Paul Sillitoe in Hong Kong and Beth Williams in New York, said Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait.

“Our goal is to provide rapid, smart takeaways on the day’s most important news on markets, finance, companies and technology,” Micklethwait said.

There will be a team of six editors and columnists for Gadfly in Asia at its launch, but the number of columnists is expected to grow significantly, he said.

Readers can visit the new platform by typing in “GADFLY” on the Bloomberg terminal. They can also follow “@BFLY” on Twitter.

Strong growth in Asia

In September, Bloomberg’s digital properties reached 3.6 million desktop unique visitors in the Asia Pacific, surpassing those for The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, CNNMoney and Business Insider, according to comScore Media Metrix.

The properties have seen a 34 percent year-on-year growth in unique visitors in the region.

On Nov. 2, Bloomberg announced the launch of the Asia edition of, providing readers throughout the region with the most relevant news and content from its terminal.

It hired six Hong Kong-based digital editors to support the new section. They curate the content on the website by taking interesting stories from the Bloomberg terminal.

The move came after the launch of Bloomberg Business Europe in April.

Having a new Asia-focused website will enhance the digital experience for the network’s growing audience in the region, Ravindranathan said.

“The stories we choose to show on the website are sourced from our bureaus all around the world, so there will be a wide variety to appeal to a broad set of readers in Asia,” he said.

The Bloomberg Asia website also includes social and political stories to serve the needs of non-financial readers.

Recent advertisers on the Bloomberg Business Asia website include Subaru, BNP Paribas, Huawei, Charles Schwab, Samsung, SSGA and Singapore Tourism Board.

“Our website is only in English, so we don’t see ourselves directly competing with local websites and there aren’t any immediate plans for a Chinese version,” he said.

Over the past three years, Bloomberg Television in the Asia Pacific, led by Ravindranathan, has expanded commercial partnerships in Indonesia, Malaysia and Mongolia, deepened ASEAN news coverage and is today an award-winning network available to over 340 million homes worldwide.

Ravindranathan declined to comment on whether Bloomberg Media has been self-sustaining financially but said “brand and influence” are slightly more important than other parameters to measure the unit’s success.

Bloomberg Media, although a large media company, is just a small part of the much larger Bloomberg L.P., he said.

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Chief reporter at EJ Insight