FinancialContent aims to help biz news providers

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

FinancialContent, a California-based company that provides widgets for business media companies, has rolled out two new offerings  that provide economic data.

The widgets, which can be downloaded onto a business media operation’s website, provide data for commodity prices such as oil and gold, the unemployment rate, and the average amount a U.S. family spends on groceries.

Among the media that currently use FinancialContent’s widgets are the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Houston Chronicle, PaidContent.org and CBS MoneyWatch.

“We started the company by founding financial data widgets for financial service companies,  ” said Brian DeWeese, the vice president of publishing and advertising solutions at FinancialContent, in a telephone interview. “Over time, we expanded to offer those to newspapers, television stations and radio stations. Now we work with verticals and others.”

FinancialContent, founded in 1999, is a privately-held company working with nearly 300 publishers — including McClatchy and Gannett papers — and serving more than 300 million widgets and webpages a month. It is backed by Agile Opportunity Fund and Bay Partners.

It makes money by licensing the widget, but when the newspaper industry began seeing a decline in subscriptions, many wanted to cancel those agreements. So FinancialContent restructured many of its deals to make them ad supported.

“Today, probably about half of our business is giving the widget to financial news properties, and we fill the ad inventory,” said DeWeese.  The revenue is then split with the publisher, typically on a 50-50 basis.

A lot of the advertisers that FinancialContent works with want to be associated with the widget, so it only sells the ad space near the widget on the media’s business news page, said DeWeese. Some of its biggest advertisers are NASDAQ and Zecco Trading.