LSE News Service Embraces Webcasting
Byline: Melanie Wold
Webcasting, or using multimedia on the internet, is set to become a more popular way to disseminate announcements by listed companies, according to the London Stock Exchange's Regulatory News Service (RNS).RNS has launched its own webcasting service for LSE members to broadcast their company news.
Simon Wilkinson, head of RNS, says: "We are webcasting to a larger audience. At the end of last year 60% of the FTSE 100 companies were using webcasting, and 30% of the FTSE 250."
The drive toward webcasting may be a result of the fall in the number of analysts available to cover company announcements, says Wilkinson. "There are fewer analysts going to company presentations. If the companies want coverage, webcasting is the answer. Also, it helps to get information across to cross-border shareholders."
Neil Ferris, chairman of Virtue Broadcasting, a UK-based vendor of webcasting services to the financial sector, says: "Webcasting is increasingly being used by corporates and banks as a communication tool to shareholders and for internal communications."
Analysts are choosing to view webcasts rather than travel to a presentation, says Chris Collett, media analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. "It saves time and money," says Collett, adding that the ability to ask questions during the presentation is vital: "If I can ask questions during the presentation, the difference between being there and watching a webcast is pretty minimal."
Giles English, head of corporate services at Virtue, says that webcasting has been particularly well-received in Europe, where the US conference call mentality has not taken hold. …