Thomson Gale has quietly launched the beta of a new premium business content service for individual users. Goliath (http://goliath.ecnext.com), developed in connection with ECNext, lets individuals purchase business information by either pay-per-view transaction or subscription. Goliath features articles, company profiles, business reference content, market information, and more. The existence of Goliath only became evident during a search of premium content at LookSmart’s FindArticles.com site, which provides links to several premium content providers, including HighBeam Research, KeepMedia, ProQuest (just announced in March), and Goliath. A little Goliath icon led me over to the new site. Thomson Gale has not issued any press releases or announcements about the new service.
In response to my questions, Scott A. Smith, vice president of corporate strategy and alliances for Thomson Gale, explained in an e-mail about the company reaching out for individual business users and the background of Goliath.
Goliath was originally developed in conjunction with Microsoft’s development of their research task pane for Microsoft Office 2003, through which users of the software application suite are able to connect seamlessly with company profile information from Thomson Gale. Users desiring more information than that provided in the research pane are easily connected to the Goliath storefront where they may purchase individual company reports or sign up for individual subscriptions. In much the same way we look to connect with individuals whose workflow involves Microsoft Office, we have begun to look at how best to reach individuals whose workflow includes Internet search. Recently, we began to use Goliath to test the effectiveness of using Internet search as another means of connecting individuals with a portion of our business content assets.
Smith further clarified that the service was not hosted by ECNext or called Goliath in 2003. The new service debuted in 4Q of 2004, he wrote. (While not obvious, the service is actually linked from the Gale site but not mentioned as Goliath: The URL is http://www.gale.com/bizdev/ecnext.htm.)
Gale Goliath currently provides Web-based access to:
- Competitive Intelligence: corporate information on more than 450,000 public and private companies
- Research: thousands of articles from journals, newspapers, newswires, and magazines, covering a wide range of industries and business topics
- Lead Generation: contact information for professionals at the world’s top companies
- Industries and markets: includes Ward’s Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies, Graham and Whiteside Major Company Series, and Brands and Their Companies as well as Company Profiles
- Management practices: includes management articles, several Gale business and management encyclopedias, and Gale Business Plans
- Biz Match: provides access to thousands of contacts listed in sources like Consultants and Consulting Organizations, American Wholesalers and Distributors, and Taft Directory of Corporate and Foundation Givers
A full subscription to Goliath costs $345.95 per month. Sections are priced separately, such as $49.95 per month just for access to the research articles. An individual article purchased directly at Goliath, or located through a service like FindArticles.com and purchased at Goliath, costs $9.95. (By the way, FindArticles.com only indexes and links to articles in Goliath, not to all the other content Goliath includes.)
One interesting twist to all the partnering is that the HighBeam service, which also offers content through FindArticles.com, has included articles licensed from Thomson Gale since December 2003. Another fact of note is that Thomson Gale still supplies some free articles to FindArticles.com, based upon publishers’ preferences. And, finally, the $9.95 pay-per-view cost for a single article at Goliath is high in comparison to other services. HighBeam doesn’t have pay-per-view options, but a subscription is only $19.95 a month or $99.95 a year—plus it offers 30-day free trials. KeepMedia offers an article free with a 30-day trial, and subscriptions are $4.95 a month. Factiva offers articles for $2.95 each, as does ITI’s InfoCentral.
ECNext (http://www.ecnext.com), founded in 1996, is an Ohio-based company that helps market researchers and business information publishers sell and deliver premium information to clients via the Web. ECNext has worked with publishers such as The Freedonia Group, Outsell, Stratfor, and Standard & Poor’s.
The launch of the Goliath service marks a move by Thomson Gale into new territory—outside of libraries. In an interview with Marydee Ojala in the September/October 2004 issue of ONLINE, Gale’s president Gordon Macomber stated: “Gale is differentiated by its concentration on the library market. We see this market as being academic, public, K-12 school libraries, large ARL research libraries, and community colleges…. We reach the corporate and government market, but it’s through resellers rather than direct sales.” However, with Goliath, Thomson Gale is reaching out for individual business users, outside of a library setting, as well as appealing to small and mid-size businesses.