According to Thomson Reuters’ Second-Quarter 2013 Results, the revenues coming in from WestlawNext has hit the 80% mark of total Westlaw revenues. For some of us, it may seem that it took a long time since the launch of WLN in early 2010 to hit this threshold, but with all the fluxuation in the legal market, and the intitial clumsy sales pitches to existing clients, it actually seems that we are well on our way to a phase out of Westlaw Classic. If I had to guess, I would say that Westlaw Classic probably will go away at the end of 2014, with exceptions made for clients under existing contracts. Of course, as many of us user see each day, that means that all of the content that hasn’t been converted to WLN will need to be completed.

The rest of the quarterly report looks pretty good for Thomson Reuters:

  • Looks like the Financial Sector is finally giving in and buying the Eikon desktop (up 30% from the first quarter of this year.)
  • Print is still declining. This quarter US Print Revenues were down a significant 7%.
  • Academics and Governments are cutting – but only a 1% decrease in Thomson Reuters’ revenues. This is surprising to me. I thought it would be more.
  • The PLC purchase hit their margins in legal (an astonishing 38.5% margin at that…), but I imagine that they can turn PLC into a cash cow.

So, for those of you that thought that the stagnant legal demand that is fueling the articles on the Death of BigLaw would also mean the Death of Big Legal Publishing, it doesn’t look like Q2 of 2013 is trending that way.

  • Joan Schipper

    I know from experience that the popularity of WLN is growing but I have to wonder how TR measures revenue generated by the new platform.

    My firm has had access to WLN on a subscription plan since February. How would TR allocate our monthly fee between the platforms? The nondisclosure clause in our contract prohibits me from mentioning the monetary impact of adding WLN to our subscription. I’ll just say that we held out a long time and avoided the big increase that was originally proposed.

    Seven months in, I would be surprised if WLN accounts for 50% of our usage and by “usage” I mean work done rather than a measure of dollars. Because we don’t bill clients for online research, I’m not up on West’s pricing methods but I understand that they’ve changed and evolved and that there have been lots of surprises in charges followed by compromises and adjustments.

    I look forward to having access to more resources on WLN but I hope they don’t rush the demise of Westlaw classic. It’s a workhorse for us.

  • Anonymous

    Read the statement carefully

    "80% of Westlaw revenue has been converted to WestlawNext as of the end of the second quarter."

    That can mean anything.

  • Anonymous

    Revenue doesn't always equal profit (aka OI);)