FT Group chief executive, John Ridding, has long been in favour of charging for online content, implementing stringent paywalls on his Financial Times website - a move which looks like it might just have paid off.
According to the Guardian, the hiked up cover price, as well as an increase of 30 percent amongst online subscribers last year, mirrored by an increase in corporate clients, will see the title's content revenue bring in more than advertising revenue, for the first time in the publication's history.
Whilst this may make the case for other publications adapting their business models to match that of the Financial Times in the hope of achieving similar results, it must be remembered that the FT occupies a specific position in the market, enjoying the majority of its circulation amongst businesses as opposed to individuals, who will not feel the pinch of rising cover prices so considerably. In light of this, Ridding stated:
"It's easier for us, I don't deny that. But equally, I don't think anyone can afford to dismiss the idea of developing paid-for content because journalism is valuable. It is significant in that it is reaffirming there is life beyond advertising for online publishing ... it does offer an alternative where an alternative was regarded for a long time as not existing."
Although the majority of other titles charging for content are unlikely to reap the profits of paywalls just yet, the news does offer a glimmer of hope to so many of those publications affected by the advertising downturn - proving that not only are there alternative models out there - but also viable ones too.