What you can learn from the FT

Lots of people have lots of opinions about news and information online and what the future might be for mainstream media in a time of declining circulations and advertising revenues, not to mention a severe recession.

The Financial Times seems to have got it right where others haven’t, according to AdAge.com in a feature which points out that not only has the FT increased the price of its print newspaper, it also charges a fee to access its online content. At the same time, circulation and ad revenue are up.

What’s the secret to the FT’s success? Simple, says AdAge:

    1. People will pay for content — if the content is high quality and relevant to a niche
    2. When it comes to monetizing online, garnering a lot of eyeballs alone isn’t enough.
    3. Just because there’s a recession doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm.

As a user, I’ll distil it all down into a single word – content.

I’m an FT.com paying subscriber, and have been for quite some years. Why do I pay? Certainly not for the general news: I can get that for free anywhere online.

No, I’m willing to pay for great content that I can’t get anywhere else. Content written by people who write it for the FT and for no one else. Content that I find invaluable and, thus, am willing to pay for access to it.

I have the same feelings about The Economist, the only other publication that I am willing to pay for access to its content

Both have struck the right balance between content and price (and long may that hold).

It’s all about content. At the right price.

AdAge.com | How Financial Times Defies the Times