RealVision: The Netflix of Finance With The Confusing Homepage

A re-visualization of financial content! But will it work?

RealVision produces video-interviews of experts in finance, economics, trading, currencies and other subjects pertinent to investing. If you haven’t watched a RealVision video, go check them out. The quality is outstanding. You can also find them on their YouTube Channel. Here’s one of my favorites, on Energy Transformations.

The founders, industry veterans, Raoul Pal, Damian Horner, Grant Williams and Remi Teto often do the interviewing. But even the young hosts don’t talk like kids fresh out of journalism school. They know their stuff.

There is never any need for a guest to say “good question.” They’re all good questions.

Here’s a question I’d like answered. Why is RealVision making it harder, not easier for me to find the content I’m interested in?

According to RealVision, their three guiding principles are 1. Hard-to-access guests; 2. Freedom of speech; and 3. Unfiltered opinion.

I believe it’s more than that: 1. Only guests who are respected at RealVision. (I don’t believe they put on hard-to-access guests, no matter how famous, if RealVision finds them shallow); 2. Hosts who obsess over asking questions that bring out the deepest insights and push their guests to articulate them; 3. A thirst and love of knowledge. Seriously.

There are never any marketing come-ons from the guests. Never.

Does that all sound too good to be true?

It isn’t. Go see for yourself.

However, I worry that RealVision’s may be obscuring and cheapening the quality content they work so hard to create.

Raoul Pal, the CEO, said they want to be “the Nextflix of finance.” Has he ever watched Netflix? Rather, has he ever studied how Netflix organizes content? More the point, has he compared RealVision’s presentation to The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, etc?

My question to him, if RealVision is producing video content heads-and-tails above other financial news and commentary sources, why risk confusing viewers with busy graphics and a complicated menu? If you have better video content than Bloomberg, say, why not trust the market to eventually value it as such?

Here are screenshots from the other established financial sites.

Clean, clean, clean
Clean, clean, clean with less font serif the the WSJ
Clean, clean, clean with a touch of old newspaper pink

On RealVision, the segments are jumbled together at the top of the page, organized by date of release. There is little separation between Economics, Finance, Fundamental Trading, Chartists, Currencies, Cyber-Currencies, Technology and finally, “Custom Videos”.

Dates when published, not dates when created

A video released on July 8th, for example, could have been shot June 13th. Yet RealVision is not a daily financial news show.

What’s going on here? Does RealVision trust its audience? Viewers like me understand that these videos aren’t the daily news. We don’t need to be the first to know what happened to Tesla at 2pm this afternoon. How many people are going to be fooled by a calendar that makes it look like the videos were produced each day? I’m not.

The RealVision audience doesn’t look to be first to know, they look to be best to know. (Hey RealVision, a marketing freebie from me). That brings us to the second problem. Contrary to my experience, Macro economists are not interested in trade ideas and traders aren’t interested in macroeconomics. For that reason, most publishes separate these subjects, from the get-go, to make it easy for a reader find content relevant to them.

Further, the RealVision audience isn’t that of James Cramer’s. A passionate rant is never going to get a RealVision viewer to go out and buy a stock the next day. And I mean ‘never.’ RealVision is a thinking-person’s content creator.

RealVision needs to organize their content in the way I’m fairly certain the four founders and staff would want it organized, if they were in my shoes. They each need to mockup a perfect RealVision home page based on their personal preferences (not the Keynesian beauty contestants who the judges would pick). Then, they should discuss their mock-ups at a company-wide meeting. (Some free management consulting there. You’re welcome!).

Commit.

Color is emotional. Do the graphic artists make the graphics to match the subject, or expert? I don’t see it. I don’t believe there could be more disconnect between the color choices and content.

Should RealVision create separate graphics that convey the serious tone of their network while keeping the photographs of people professional and separate? It’s a real question, the risk in going away from established conventions. I’m not arguing that RealVision should get rid of its artists. Far from it! The graphics are excellent! The issue is in how well they match the content. And again, much of the problem is organization!

If RealVision doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Why should their customers? Either dumb down the content to match the company graphics or cut out the amusement park visuals. Organize content the way you would want it organized. That’s my 2-cents. In the meantime, I’m going to go watch some more RealVision interviews!