Media Moves

FT exec backs NYT’s online pay model

March 17, 2011

The New York Times unveiled Thursday its plans to begin charging readers to access some of its content online, following models that have been successfully used by business newspapers The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.

Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com, has executed the FT’s strategy to successfully charge for its online content, an effort that began in 2000.

In response to the Times’ plans being unveiled on Thursday, Grimshaw issued the following statement:

The Financial Times believes in the value of quality content and our experience from the last three years is that a metered model is an excellent paid model, allowing access to new and casual users while building a healthy digital subscription business that doesn’t sacrifice traffic or advertising.

The FT pioneered the metered model in 2007 and we’ve seen both digital content and digital advertising revenues rise every year since. Last year, we experienced record growth in online subscribers, double-digital growth in online advertising, and overall digital revenues grew by 47%.

Without a doubt, new digital distribution channels have been a game changer for the publishing industry and for a long time many people feared change and what it might mean for their businesses, but we have always seen it as an opportunity. The value of premium content has only increased with the proliferation of sources online. Amid an ever-growing chorus of voices, we’ve found our readers seek out and, importantly, pay for that responsible and authoritative journalism that they can trust.

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