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Bloomberg’s dominance in the financial communications sector is about to be tested. Symphony, backed by Goldman Sachs and several other banks, will offer clients messaging serves for as low as $15 per month, compared to the $21,000 per year for Bloomberg’s terminal.
The start-up messaging service, which already has 30,000 users, was unveiled Tuesday at New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Bloomberg, by comparison, has 325,000 terminal users.
Unlike Bloomberg, Symphony won’t be a package deal. Bankers can pay for the services they want, from basic messaging to complex data integration and analysis sourced from McGraw Hill Financial databases Dow Jones and S&P. Symphony is open-sourced and can be custom-fitted for particular customer needs.
CEO David Gurle hopes that one of the main selling points of his product is the security advantage it has over Bloomberg or Reuters Thompson – all messages are encrypted. This could especially appeal to those miffed in 2013 when Bloomberg reporters used the terminal to spy on bankers.
From the start, Symphony has had strong backing from Wall Street, not only from Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, but Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, Citadel, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Jefferies, JPMorgan, Maverick, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Wells Fargo.