Distribution Matters

The Oceans of Investing

While you read a lot about news publishers complicated relationships with Facebook and Google, the investing space has long been dependent on two oceans for referral traffic — Twitter and Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo! Finance was the original aggregator that fed the referral traffic which built every online company from Marketwatch to SeekingAlpha. The challenger to Yahoo! Finance is not another website but a social network: Twitter, which has more impressions in a week for the top 30 equities than Yahoo! Finance does in a month. With TicToc, Bloomberg is harnessing the Twitter audience to build a counter weight to Yahoo! Finance. We like to think about Yahoo! Finance and Twitter as the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, feeding the tributaries of Bloomberg, Marketwatch, The Street, WSJ, Motley Fool, Forbes and so many more who depend on their mighty engines to flow.

TicToc Dough

It’s clear that externally sourced traffic is only going to increase as more engines feed more content to more places. Bloomberg, for example, gets most of their traffic off network, meaning that most traffic comes from other content providers and social media platforms, as seen from the charts below. A large portion of this can be attributed to their massive Twitter presence as TicToc. With close to 400K followers, 2.2 million average daily views and 1.4 million average daily viewers, this handle drives large amounts of users to their platform and largely increases their brand awareness. It also shows the burgeoning power and importance of Twitter in the finance world.

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 10.38.47 AM.png

Source: SimilarWeb, 09/25/2018

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 10.39.56 AM.pngSource: SimilarWeb, 09/25/2018


In fact, the Cashtag, Twitter’s trackable and clickable stock tracker, has propelled the platform’s popularity as a financial news tool. As we saw recently, a CEO can wipe out billions of $ off their company’s market cap with just a tweet. While on the other hand, analysts are now using the platform to speculate about the “next big thing”. Plus, with 330 million active monthly users, Twitter’s reach far exceeds Yahoo! Finance and just about everybody else.

We conducted an analysis of the engagement that’s generated from top equity cashtags, as well as other major market movers from the S&P 100, over 32 randomly selected days and found that average impressions/day accumulate to almost 8MM and reach almost 5MM users.

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 3.16.44 PM.pngSource: Keyhole

That’s more than Yahoo! Finance, which gets 70MM visitors per month. Yahoo! Finance’s traffic mainly comes from people going directly to the site or via the mobile app, as well as those who come from links to the site within Google Search results.

No Longer Siloed

With the bulk of web traffic today coming from outside platforms, social or otherwise, the landscape for financial news consumption is shifting. Essentially, we have a hugely fragmented ecosystem where people go to get their finance news and it’s even more fragmented in how they got there. One thing’s for sure, it’s only going to get more disparate as platforms and the digital ecosystem evolve.  

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