A start-up company is delivering market data at one-quarter the usual cost.
Taking aim at giants such as Bloomberg LP and Bridge Information Systems, New York-based MoneyLine Network Inc. is using Internet technology to distribute market data for as little as $250 a month.
MoneyLine's success in signing up 50 customers in 10 months indicates the threat the Internet poses to the $6 billion market data industry. Using the Internet, new competitors can challenge the leading providers, which typically charge $1,000 to $1,600 a month for direct connections to financial information.
"We can get more information out quicker to more people at an affordable price," said Jonathan Q. Robson, president and chief executive officer of the privately held company. "Our competitors deliver black-box hardware; we deliver software over the Internet."
For users like the two-man investment operation at Community Bankers' Bank in Richmond, Va., the Internet-based delivery system offers an appropriate amount of information at an affordable price.
"I can look at MoneyLine's network and be as up-to-date and aware as someone working for a larger bank," said Vaden Scott, vice president in charge of investments and one of the bank's 14 employees. The $57 million- asset bank "could not justify shelling out $1,700 a month on a Bloomberg terminal," Mr. Scott said.
Community Bankers' Bank is one of a "large group of companies that don't necessarily want to spend the full price for a Bloomberg but are interested in high quality data over the Internet," said Lawrence Tabb, senior analyst at Tower Group in Needham, Mass. "This is a viable alternative."
For $350 a month, Mr. Scott gets live market quotes on Treasury, fixed- income, and other securities, headline news, and analytics.
Though the service has "a long, long way to go" to match the capabilities of a Bloomberg box, Mr. Scott said, "it gives me enough so I don't have to depend on a Bloomberg."
Mr. Tabb warned companies that trade millions of dollars a day against getting rid of the more sophisticated terminals, noting delays are possible for information relayed on the Internet.
But these multimillion-dollar daily traders are not MoneyLine's market. "We're going to an underserved market and providing a similar mix of content as our competitors," said Mr. Robson, who was previously a senior vice president at Dow Jones Markets.
MoneyLine offers the ability to execute trades and give quotes on foreign exchange, as well as live prices of stocks, bonds, commodities, futures, options, other derivatives, money markets, and fixed-income securities. It also offers news, commentary, and economic statistics.
MoneyLine's worldwide customers include mutual fund companies, commercial banks, broker-dealers, savings and loans, mortgage banks, money lenders, insurance companies, and large corporations. Its target audience is "anyone looking to reduce the costs of market data," Mr. Robson said.