Latest ResearchWatch Readership Survey: Our Readership Has Become More Senior, Geographically Diverse, and Frequent

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A big thank you to all who completed the ResearchWatch readership survey we conducted earlier this month. Full results can be found here.  The feedback confirms that the launch of additional premium content two years ago has been well received but also inspires us to improve the service further.  The survey was conducted through an anonymous online survey between June 28 and July 18, 2017, with 193 respondents participating.

Readerhip Profile

Most readers are directly involved with research, either as producers (58%) or the buy-side (12%).  Readers tend to be senior, with nearly half in a management role (49%), followed by research (20%) and sales (10%).  The portion of readers in a management role has increased from 39% as of our readership survey conducted three and a half years ago in 2014.

40% of the readers are with independent research providers, 10% with investment banks, and another 8% with agency brokers while 12% are employed by asset managers.  Staff at data providers represent 8% of readership and a significant portion of other readers are with FinTech firms which have a connection to the research industry.

The geographic diversity of our readership has increased since our 2014 readership survey.  European readership has increased from 14% in 2014 to 21% currently and Asian-based readers have doubled from 4% to 8%.  The bulk of the readership remains US-based.

Frequency of Readership

The majority of the survey respondents (54%) have never tried the premium service while one third currently subscribe.

Traditionally readership has been on a weekly basis when we send out our weekly newsletter on Monday and, as of 2014, 57% of readership was weekly.  However, since we’ve added premium content, readers have become more engaged, with 58% of readers now reading more frequently than weekly.

Interests

Readers are interested in most varieties of research, but those of most interest are fundamental equity research (12%), industry research (10%) and alternative data (9%).  Research industry trends/metrics and research industry news are the types of articles of greatest interest.

Research pricing is the hottest topic, followed by MiFID II/unbundling.  General research industry news continues to be highly ranked.

Guidance

We asked readers for feedback on what they valued about ResearchWatch. Generally, readers like the consistent coverage of our specific niche, investment research, which is only periodically covered by the broader media.  Readers appreciate ResearchWatch’s currency and timeliness, and a number of readers commented that they find articles they don’t see elsewhere.  They value the commentary and opinions (although they don’t always agree with them.)

59% of readers agreed that the service helps them learn about key industry, technology, regulatory developments.

We also asked for advice on improvements.  There were suggestions for specific topics, such as more coverage of fixed income research, additional buy-side feedback, more about the retail segment.  Some also commented on the pricing of the service, suggesting ways to create a more affordable ‘lite’ version.

Our Take

The reader input is hugely valuable to us and we are taking it all on board.  Our last readership survey in 2014 inspired us to add the premium service the following year.  The latest feedback has validated that approach, and is encouraging us to find additional ways to improve the readership experience further.  We appreciate the loyalty and support of all our readers and are particularly grateful to those who took time to complete the survey.

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About Author

Sandy Bragg is a principal at Integrity Research Associates. He has over thirty years experience as an investment research professional. Prior to joining Integrity in 2006, he was an Executive Managing Director at Standard & Poors, managing S&P’s equity research business and fund information properties. Sandy has an MBA from New York University and BA from Williams College. Email: Sanford.Bragg@integrity-research.com

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