OLD Media Moves

Financial Times hits 1 million paid subscribers

April 1, 2019

Posted by Chris Roush

The Financial Times has reached a paid readership of 1 million, an all-time high and a key strategic goal.

The milestone, reached one year ahead of schedule, comes on the back of a strong business performance, with both operating profits and revenues growing last year.

In a staff note, FT CEO John Ridding said: “We have reached this record by developing a winning strategy, shared and supported by our owners Nikkei, who themselves now count more than 650,000 digital subscribers. By pioneering a subscription model and investing in digital transformation, we have proved that quality journalism can be a quality, growth business. We have also shown the enduring value of independent, authoritative and reliable reporting and analysis in a time of fake news, sensationalism and polarization in media.”

The FT first introduced a paywall in 2002. It established a “metered” access model in 2007 before moving in 2015 to paid trials as its primary pay model.

Digital subscriptions now account for more than three-quarters of the FT’s circulation, although the print newspaper continues to be profitable. Seven out of 10 FT readers are outside the United Kingdom.

Management account figures shared with staff on Friday showed the FT Group recorded a strong financial performance last year, with operating revenues totaling £383m and operating profits of £25m.

Revenues and profits have continued to rise since the FT was acquired by Nikkei in 2015.

Under editor Lionel Barber, the Financial Times won nearly 50 global awards and honors for its quality journalism and newsroom innovations in 2018, including the “Newspaper of the Year” and “News Team of the Year” prizes at the British Press Awards.

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