How the Financial Times’ paywall has paid off
Cale Guthrie Weissman of Fast Company writes about the success of The Financial Times’ paywall while other publishers gave away content for free
Weissman writes, “Late last year, the Financial Times reached a pretty big milestone: It exceeded 900,000 paying subscriptions, both print and digital – up from 780,000 in 2015. That’s no small feat for a media company that, like all other media companies, is facing the constant perils and headwinds of digital advertising.
“But for John Ridding, the FT‘s CEO, this announcement felt inevitable. ‘We’ve been using our subscription business for the better part of a decade,’ he tells me. ‘People thought we were a little crazy.’
“That’s no longer the case.
“Every year publishers flock to business trends like moths to flames. Most recently, the pivot d l’année was to social video, in large part to please Facebook’s algorithm. This bet isn’t panning out as planned, as Facebook tends to change its algorithm from time to time and throw media brands’ best-laid plans off-kilter. Most recently came this week’s news that Facebook is going to de-emphasize content from brand and Pages to focus on posts from friends and family. As such trends ultimately let publishers down, some media companies are going retro and looking toward the age-old business model of subscriptions.”
Read more here.