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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
One month ago, FXBeat, the premium forex news and analysis portal officially went premium. The paid model is based on individual subscribers and also as a premium data feed bundle to forex brokers worldwide. FXBeat was formed uniquely within the FXStreet family back in October of 2013, from a fusion of past experiences from Jamie Coleman and Gerry Davies and their times editing FXBriefs and ForexLive.
Under the FXStreet.com banner, FXBeat brings expert commentary, real time information, and premium community interaction to a sharp FX trading audience unrivaled on a day-to-day basis. LeapRate got to catch-up with the Executive Editor of FXBeat, Mr. Jamie Coleman to discuss the premium content business, the unique aspects of FXBeat and what brokers and traders can except from the team in the future.
You can read the full interview below:
LR: How have readers reacted to the commentary going premium? How has the reaction been the first month, has it re-adjusted any plans?
JC: Ad-supported models are difficult to make work especially in a field as specialized as forex. Analytical talent is not cheap and you basically get what you pay for.
There have been no major changes in plan. As with any business venture, you make adjustments on the fly as data becomes available but we don’t anticipate dramatic strategy shifts.
LR: Was this the ultimate goal of FXBeat, to gather steam backed by the FXStreet brand and eventually turn to a paid model?
JC: The ultimate goal of FXBeat is a subscriber model. The most successful paid content on the internet is financial in nature. The Wall Street Journal and the FT are the most successful examples of paid content in the financial space. FXBeat is both far more targeted to traders needs and less expensive than these sites, so we think there is a very strong value proposition.
Having the backing of FXStreet is very important to us. It allows my team to concentrate on editorial matters and leaves IT, marketing, etc to a firm with an established infrastructure.
LR: Jamie, Gerry, Matt and Pater, are they currently traders themselves? What makes readers confident in their analysis, predictions and foresight into the market?
JC: Matt is the only active trader on the team at the moment. I’ve written extensively on why I no longer trade and why we add value despite that. In a nutshell, most people, myself included, lose their objectivity once they have a position. Speaking for myself, the value I add as an observer rather than a participant is lots of experience but no particular skin in the game. It is easier to react to new information when you are not “married” to a view.
We have many readers who have been with us since 2007, when I first launched a similar service at Thomson Financial (now ThomsonReuters). I think that speaks volumes. We don’t always get markets right but we do help traders focus on what the essential factors are that are moving markets and to put those factors in perspective. Readers find that valuable. Keep in mind, all of us were professional traders for major banks for many years so we have loads of experience with psychology of trading.
I think something our readers enjoy is the fact that we don’t take ourselves or the markets too seriously. We try and recreate the dealing room atmosphere where we all grew up. The jokes, the sarcasm… Trading is a lonely avocation these days with most people trading from home. We try and bring some levity and camaraderie to what can be a very isolating experience.
LR: Any stories or feedback from traders you can remember where the analysis led to a big win or sizeable profit in the market?
JC: Just recently we had a reader tell us he made something like $6400 in the days after the June ECB announcement based on our interpretation of the markets following the meeting. That was very gratifying. And yes, he bought a one-year subscription!
LR: What is the community aspect of FXBeat, only comments on posts? Or is there plans for building a more robust “smart trader” community?
JC: At the moment, the community aspect is comments on posts. We get valuable feedback and story ideas from our readers. Often we will get similar questions from several readers and write a piece knowing for every commenter there are probably 20 with the same question who have not bothered to ask. It helps us a great deal from an editorial perspective.
If by “smart trader” you mean a trade-following type situation, no we have no plans of that sort at the moment. There are many good entries in that category already.
LR: How have brokers responded to including the premium commentary of FXBeat into their services? Is it white labeled with the author’s names? Is it a login only portal or can it be added on to a trading platform like MT4, once subscribed to?
JC: Their feedback has been very good. Brokers can integrate the white-labeled version of the FXBeat feed on their website or platform. Thus, their clients are also able to read the news in their Metatrader platform (on “single text mode”), so, it is not only a login portal.
LR: What is the preferred format for a market news service, and what attracts each type of trader in order to generate the best audience possible? Is some of your audience non-traders?
JC: I think the blog-style format has proven popular. Sites like Business Insider have done a good job of it in the equities space and I have used the format since 2007. It is flexible and allows for new features to be added and dropped on the fly as market conditions change. And they change all the time.
I think a mix of things attracts traders, Timely updates when news is breaking, along with fast analysis is the starting point. You can get headlines anywhere, but knowing what to do with them is where we make our living. Reading between the lines first is our main strength. Our audience is almost all traders with a healthy percentage of them from banks and hedge funds.
LR: How do you consider audio and video as being the next progression for news articles compared to the written word, and how will traders and industry participant’s move toward internet media of spoken and televised signals?
JC: In our environment, I think audio is the next logical step. I can speak faster than I can type, so when news is breaking audio can be helpful. We do a daily video that has been quite popular. I’m not sure seeing my mug adds value, but the format we use, a brief interview by Dale Pinkert, in FXStreet’s Live Analysis Room (LAR), is valuable because it is unscripted. Dale asks me whatever pops into his head and the topic may be something I have not written on. It allows me to go beyond what I do on a daily basis. I think video will be a small, but valuable part of what we do.
LR: Will individual subscribers on FXStreet be the main way FXBeat monetizes itself?
JC: My focus is on the editorial side of the business. I’m not sure which route will be more successful, selling to brokers or selling to individuals. My hope is that both are extremely successful!
LR: How generally do you view competition from news analytics services which unscramble raw data and feed it directly to trading platforms such as RavenPack?
JC: Our focus is on men (and women), not machines. I’m sure our content feeds into many algorithms, but it is not an area where we have any expertise nor do I view those providers as competition. We’re after the “finger trader,” the guy or gal who is still clicking a mouse.
LR: How do you suggest brokers can use this service as a method of generating more clients and why is it in their interests to outsource premium FX research, advisory, and news services?
JC: I think it is brokers’ interest to provide their clients with tools that generate trading ideas. It is also in the brokers’ interests to keep their clients in the game. It is expensive to acquire new accounts. Helping the one’s you have improve their performance means better long-term profit opportunities for the firms. It is also a differentiator. FX brokerage is the ultimate commodity business. Having unique offerings can be the difference between opening a new account or losing it to the competition.
To get more information on FXBeat, please visit their website, here.