Monday, March 2, 2015

Newsonomics: The Financial Times triples its profits and swaps champagne flutes for martini glasses

Ken Doctor reporting:
The FT is a leader in crossing over from print — digital subscribers now make up 70 percent of its paying audience, a number that keeps growing.
...The FT may be 127 years old and roundly and rightfully respected for its journalism. But it doesn’t even break into the top 25 business news websites, as counted by comScore (see chart below). In the U.S. — which became its largest market a few years ago, surpassing the U.K. — ranks #44, with 804,000 uniques....
“There’s been a lot of internal debate about champagne and martinis,” Ridding said. That’s as in narrowly fluted champagne glasses and wide-brimmed martini. Simply put, the FT’s paywall marketing caught too few potential customers. Widen the top of the glass — or the overused metaphorical top of the funnel of reader acquisition — and more potential subscribers can be snared. Ridding says the FT has tested the $1 full-access-for-a-month approach in several geographic and business sector markets. It likes what it sees and projects a conversion rate of 11 to 29 percent. ...

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