Great article with loads of info on the Financial Times’ strategy. First of all, FT is glad they have a subscription model instead of solely relying on advertising. “I’ve seen data recently that says that of all the pages on the internet less than one per cent of them are from newspapers – the vast majority of time spent is with social channels and they are always going to be much bigger than you are – so if you’re trying to play a game of scale then you’re going to lose.”
Quite the opposite is found at Spotify, that shifts its strategy more towards advertising for revenue, relying on its larger base of free users, this article says
. Okay, now back to FT.
I agree on their take on print. Although it has fallen in circulation to 203,000, it makes a proﬁt and is vital for the future. “We are very fond of the newspaper and it’s also one of the greatest ambassadors for the website. People walking around with the pink paper is the best advertising we could have.” I see that print has a future as an instrument of contemplation and relaxation. Something more and more people need in their mobile dominated lives. More people see a bright future for print. For more information check out this article by the Guardian
They moved from metered model (allowing a set number of articles for free before asking for a subscription) in favour of £1 monthly trials. Monthly trialling has proved ‘more effective’ in converting into paid subscribers. This article with the FT CEO goes into some detail. FT quit the metere because it did not create a habit, because “one of the things that the Internet did very unhelpfully was to explode habit”. With a meter you have less of a chance to create a habit than with a trial. Conversion rate has doubled to 1.500 new trials per week. In my view very low numbers for a global newspaper in English, considering these are 1 pound trials. And I do wonder what the retention rate of these trials look like 24 months from now. By the way FT subscription sales of digital subs went up 600% during Brexit (article here
). We noticed a lift too.
FT claims to have exceptional insights into its audience’s interests and reading patterns. They say they never take an “important decision of a strategic nature” without the input of chief data ofﬁcer Tom Betts and his team, which has introduced the Lantern dashboard system to the newsroom, giving every FT journalist access to detailed analytics on who is reading their stories. It’s a central tenet of their business model that they have a direct relationship with the customer and it underpins every decision they make around partners they work with.
Here’s a very good article
that touches on the problem we have with metrics in media. There is no standard definition of ´engagement´.