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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

McGraw-Hill / S&P is Mediasite Customer

In a June post, we noted that McGraw-Hill's (MHP, $33.03) Standard & Poor's unit may now be using Mediasite for analyst commentary. Yet, we weren't sure whether the use was a trial or an actual deployment. We recently confirmed with Sonic Foundry (SOFO, $0.61) that McGraw-Hill's S&P unit has been a Mediasite customer since last year. We believe the firm keeps most of their Mediasite presentations behind their firewall, but we did find public access to the following 7/06/09 presentations:
We are delighted to see an equity research group using Mediasite to deliver analyst commentary. During our time in Equity Research at Banc of America Securities, we encouraged the bank -- with disclosure of our SOFO position -- to adopt Mediasite not just for research, but for the many monthly meetings, continuing education sessions, and compliance presentations that are common at many large financial services firms (and, in general, at many corporations).

An internal archive of these types of events for on-demand viewing would have made life much easier as many meetings were simply missed because of scheduling conflicts and/or offered multiple times on the same topic to accommodate different schedules. Plus, an external catalog available to the bank's institutional investor clients would allow live or on-demand access to analyst stock "calls", facilitating timely communication regarding investment recommendations, potentially improving client relationships, and possibly leading to new business models. Mediasite could also be used to Webcast conferences, as Noble Financial is doing (McGraw-Hill's CEO presented at this conference). All makes perfect sense. But, adoption by BofA never happened during our tenure. Glad to see S&P is taking advantage of the technology.

We'll provide an update on languishing SOFO later this week. In brief: we continue to believe that Mediasite franchise value is meaningfully greater than Sonic Foundry's current market valuation, although the illiquid stock is speculative and not without risk.

Happy investing,

Jeffrey Walkenhorst

Disclosure: long SOFO.

© 2009 Jeffrey Walkenhorst
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