New York (AFP)

The Reuters site will become chargeable, the news agency announced on Thursday, with the ambition of attracting professional customers who will have access to more extensive content than that currently available.

So far free and a showcase for the agency, will offer a subscription of $ 34.99 per month.

The site will still be searchable for free with a limit of five articles during the launch period, Reuters said in a statement.

An entity of the Canadian media and services group Thomson Reuters, the Reuters agency offers its content both to individuals, through its site and its application, and to businesses, including the media, which then distribute it online, sometimes for free.

In 2018, Thomson Reuters sold its "Financial and Risk" business to investment firm Blackstone, which includes financial terminals and market data, the group's main source of income until then.

Housed in a new subsidiary of Blackstone, called Refinitiv, this activity had entered into a 30-year contract with Thomson Reuters, which provided that the agency Reuters would provide its content, for 325 million dollars per year.

In January, Refinitiv was bought out for $ 27 billion by the London Stock Exchange, the LSE.

The contract with Refinitiv therefore ensures about half of the agency's turnover, which amounted to $ 628 million in 2020, for an operating profit (EBITDA) of $ 73 million.

With the launch of the paid offer, the Reuters site will be given a facelift, offering an enriched and more dynamic presentation.

Subscribers will also have access to content that previously could not be viewed by users of the site in its free form.

Reuters will thus provide specific information likely to be of interest to professionals and relating, in particular, to the energy, health, automotive, environmental and transport sectors.

This is "the biggest digital transformation in a decade" for Reuters, chief marketing officer Josh London said in a statement.

The agency has 2,500 journalists in 200 cities around the world.

In May 2018, the Bloomberg agency had already upgraded its site from free to paid, at a rate identical to that announced Thursday by Reuters, or $ 34.99 per month.

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