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Dowjones.com Expands into E-Commerce Offerings; Parent Competing with Factiva Child?
by
Posted On January 3, 2000
Last May, Dow Jones and Co. launched a business portal called dowjones.com that provides free business information, services, organized Web resource listings, and industry news. The portal operates independently of the Factiva joint venture from Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive. According to Tim Andrews, CEO of Factiva, it represents part of a "new economy" initiative by one of Factiva's two shareholders. The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition and dowjones.com come under the Dow Jones Interactive Publishing unit of the parent company, Dow Jones.

Recently Dow Jones Interactive Publishing expanded dowjones.com to include a Market Center section that contains e-commerce concepts, including a "Research" section for people buying premium business information. Previously, any pay-per-view options available on the service primarily came from connections to Factiva, in particular a subset of 250 news and business sources (comprising a 15-year archive), including the Wall Street Journal in all its forms and the Dow Jones newswire in a 30-day archive.

The dowjones.com site offers the dowjones.com 2000, an index of over 2,000 sites selected by Dow Jones editors. According to Dow Jones Interactive Publishing staff, this collection does not come from Factiva's Web Center. The dowjones.com site also offers 29 industry-specific channels (same as Factiva) supplying news and sources on a limited time period: no more than a 30-day archive.

The new dowjones.com Market Center expands e-commerce areas to cover many categories, including research, education, trade shows, shopping, and business-to-business e-commerce. Each category features one or more alliances with leading companies and institutions in the field.

Market Center offerings include the following:

  • Arthur Andersen KnowledgeSpace, a Web-based knowledge service designed to inform businesspeople how to better understand industry opportunities and challenges
  • MeansBusiness, Inc., which covers key business management concepts, ideas, theories, and methodologies with excerpts from books by leading authors arranged into a database of business management concepts (See the December 6, 1999 NewsBreak "New Web-Based Business Service from MeansBusiness Taps Concepts in Books Database.")
  • Integra Information, a top Internet source for private company information
  • The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, offering online information about campus-based Executive Education courses and Wharton Direct distance-learning programs, as well as Knowledge@Wharton (http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu), an online service for business insights, information, and research
  • TrainingNet, an e-commerce marketplace for skills training and professional education in business, IT/computing, and engineering
  • TSCentral.com, a directory of trade shows, conferences, and seminars worldwide
  • Ashford.com, an Internet retailer of luxury brands and premium products
  • BravoGifts, covering business gifts, business gift advice and etiquette, unique gift selection tools, and special corporate services
  • Giftcertificates.com, a site selling branded gift certificates for the nation's leading retailers, restaurants, and hotels
  • Igogolf.com, an online golf retailer that runs the "official" online store of the PGA Tour
  • Mondus.com, a global online marketplace for smaller businesses
  • TradeOut.com, an online marketplace for new merchandise, overstocks and closeouts, used office furniture, heavy equipment, and industrial machinery

When users connect to the "Research" section vendors—Integra Information, MeansBusiness, and Arthur Andersen KnowledgeSpace—a click on any of these sources takes them to the corresponding home pages in a separate window. This design guarantees that the user has to come back to dowjones.com before ending a session.

Andrews of Factiva and Denise Collins of Dow Jones Interactive Publishing both denied that the two operations were competitors (Collins referred to the relationship as "complementary"), although both of them did admit that concern over market "substitution" persisted. Basically the Dow Jones Interactive Publishing operation targets individual users, particularly SOHO (small office/home office) people, with the free dowjones.com and the more robust, subscription-based Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition. WSJIE carries some exclusive reporting that never appears in the printed editions, and it also offers access to the entire Publications Library available through Factiva. The market on which Factiva focuses is business-to-business and corporate enterprises.

As for the comparative strength of the two operations, Andrews pointed out that of the $150 million in revenue reported by Dow Jones Co. from online sources, $120 million came from Factiva.


Barbara Quint is senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.

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