The Financial Times announced on Monday that its blog Alphaville is to expand its New York presence, as part of an effort to make the site a global, 24-hour news service. Alphaville offers a mix of breaking news, commentary, links to stories on the rest of the FT's website and Markets Live, a daily session that lets readers follow and contribute to an hour-long instant messaging conversation between two journalists discussing London's equities markets.
The blog will now be edited from New York, while the core team remains in London. Editor Paul Murphy has relocated from London to New York. "As FT Alphaville has continued to grow we have been working to expand our coverage both geographically and by asset class. Developing our US coverage further is a natural next step, especially when blogging and new media in general is so much more advanced in the US than other parts of the globe," said Murphy.
Another slot of Markets Live will be added for US customers, and an American edition of the 6am Cut news briefing email will be introduced. The paper plans similar moves into the Asian market for the blog.
Alphaville is free to access, unlike the FT.com site which operates a metre model: readers can view a certain number of article for no cost and then they will be asked to start paying. Alphaville will remain free, said Murphy, in order to interact with other financial blogs and in order to feed traffic to the main side. The site relies purely on advertising revenue, and Murphy was quoted in Crains New York as saying it has been "pretty much profitable" from the start.
Amongst other online moves, the FT recently introduced a new service called Trading Room, which features breaking news, analysis and comment on equities and derivatives in trading. The paper's iPhone app was launched in July. As a specialist financial paper, the FT is one of the rare English language papers that manages to charge successfully for its online content. It is reportedly considering introducing a pay-per-article system on top of its existing subscription service.