On a digital roll at the FT

If you want evidence that digital and print publications can live together very nicely in the midst of continuing change and declines in circulations and advertising revenues for printed newspapers, look no further than the Financial Times.

In July 2012, the paper reported that, for the first time, digital subscriptions had surpassed print subscriptions.

And in an email today, the FT told me that paid readership – print and digital – is the highest in the paper’s 125-year history at almost 629,000, up 5 percent on the same period last year.

Yet digital is the driving force behind the FT’s growth, clearly a trend where continuing circulation growth has been fuelled by digital subscriptions, the latter up 24 percent to almost 387,000 for the first nine months of 2013 compared to 2012.

The FT said they now have close to 150,000 more digital subscribers than global print circulation. And a very interesting metric – the FT has more than 220,000 corporate users from over 3,000 licences, including 25 of the world’s top business schools and 80 central banks.

And the fastFT live 24/7 breaking-news service launched six months ago has been a great success, according to the FT’s Megan Murphy at a celebration event last night at the swanky Morton’s Club in London’s West End.

As a long-time paying subscriber to FT digital content, I’ve seen the paper’s innovation and success with its digital roll-outs. I’m especially impressed with their Android app, my favoured method of reading the FT each day. It works especially well on a 10.1-inch Samsung tablet.

Mobile clearly is a major element in the FT’s vision for its future as the platform drives almost 60 percent of subscriber consumption, over 40 percent of total traffic and a quarter of digital subscriptions.

Yesterday, the FT announced the availability of the FT in the just-launched Google Newsstand on Android devices. You can actually subscribe to the FT via this app – a first via a third-party app, the FT said. And last week, the paper made is easy for subscribers to share limited digital content with non-subscribers via the Gift Article feature.

In addition to Google Newsstand and FT apps for the primary mobile systems – Android, iOS, Windows – you can also get the FT as a Flipboard publication. As an enthusiastic Flipboard user myself,  I flip between the FT app on the tablet and the FT in Flipboard on the tablet and sometimes smartphone, depending on what I’m doing at the time and where.

So much choice!

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

    • Neville Hobson

      Content is king, David ;)

      But it’s not only great content, you also have to have other elements in play – easy to access that content, enabling you to share it, comment about it, reasonable cost you’re willing to pay…

      Probably other aspects, but these are the key ones imo. Content itself isn’t enough these days.

      • dphillips4363

        Agreed and I think you have covered the key elements. For me the critical element is that old fashioned ideas like protectionism are now in the dock with the a very clear direction for the future.
        What we now really have to do is examine what happens as radical transparency gets closer. It is this kind of debate and consideration that has to be addressed by IABC, CIPR etc.

        For more about it
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_transparency
        and in Online Public Relations.

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