A publication of the World Editors Forum


Fri - 22.09.2017

Financial Times 'enhances' premium subscription package

Financial Times 'enhances' premium subscription package

The Financial Times website is adding services to its £99 subscription, reports paidContent, as part of an attempt to 'enhance' its premium offering.

The publication, one of few which has been able to successfully charge for online content, will now add a monthly editor's newsletter from Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, "highlighting big themes for the month ahead and providing updates and insights on new site features"; a page-turning electronic edition of the paper; and 'FT Newsmine,' a Friday email "that abstracts hidden nuggets from articles".

FT.com managing director, Rob Grimshaw, has said that paying subscriptions have increased by 22 per cent in the last year to reach 121, 000.

Such figures are what many publications are dreaming of as they struggle to monetize online content and make decisions on the feasability of paywalls. FT chief executive John Ridding, has previously said that the key to online news outlets becoming profitable is "making yourself different and distinctive" and focusing on producing the best journalism possible: "our entire strategy relies on the quality of our journalism," he said.

Ridding did admit, however, that given the FT is a niche publication directed at a specific demographic charging for content was easier- though he did not suggest the same approach was impossible for general news publishers: "I don't think it's a binary, black and white thing... All publishers need to be looking at what they specialise in," he said.

Others are less optimistic. Alan Mutter on his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog has previously written that organisations would be able to charge users for exclusive information, but apart from these publications, Mutter argues that newspapers need to totally modify their attitude toward the way and the type of content they produce before they can even contemplate trying to sell it.

Nevertheless, as the paywall debate gather steam more and more general news publications are flirting with the thought that perhaps they too could enjoy the same success of the FT. Some, such as Johnston Press, the second largest newspaper owner in Britain have started trialling paywalls on some of their publications, testing the waters to see how consumers react before diving in completely to roll paywalls our across the board.

Source: paidContent



Jennifer Lush


2009-12-16 17:35

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