How has the Financial Times successfully evolved into a revenue generating digital publication?
In this video, Ellis Croft, the Financial Times’ Global Commercial Academy Lead, explains how the Financial Times has digitally transformed to gain more paying customers than it has ever had in over 125 years.
Watch Ellis’ full, on-demand talk to understand how learning and development strategies are helping the Financial Times to successfully adopt ongoing digital transformation.
How the Financial Times harnessed learning for digital transformation
“We’re doing the same thing now that we were in 1888,” explains Ellis in the video above. “We’re looking after political and business elite, giving them the information they need to make the kind of decisions they need to make. We’re just doing it a little bit differently now.
“A lot of that is to do with the context of the print industry, and just to give you a sense of how quickly things have changed, back in 2001 in the UK around about 5 million quality broadsheet newspapers were sold every day.
“That figure is now hovering just above 2 million. Significantly below half of what it used to be.
“At the FT, our print circulation is only just over half of what it was 10 years ago.
“When you think about that context, if you look at the media industry, particularly brands with a print heritage, what you’ll tend to see is round after round of redundancies, lots of cost cutting, lots of doom and gloom.
Rising above the doom and gloom
“What have people been doing to respond to that? Well any of you who live and work in London will be used to seeing people hawking their wares. The Evening Standard have very successfully gone free. Problem: people aren’t paying for your newspaper, what should we do about it? Let’s give it away.
“That’s one way of dealing with it. Another way is to build scale digitally.
“If you look at the Guardian and the Mail, what they’re doing is they’re trying to build absolutely colossal audiences online, so they can use that scale to drive advertising revenue. There are various ways of managing that.
“At the FT we’re very lucky, we’ve got the world’s best journalists, we produce absolutely fantastic content. So, we can conceive of the idea of asking people to pay for it and that is essentially the way we’re dealing with things. We use paywall, you can get your first article free every day if you follow the FT on Twitter.
“Just to give you a little bit of a picture, moving on from that doom and gloom. At the FT, you can see the blue line which is a print circulation is going through the floor. But we do have something rather interesting going on.
“We’re asking people for money and they’re giving it to us to access our content which means that the total circulation, the green line at the top, is going up.
“Not only that, we now have more people paying to read the FT than we ever have had, in a hundred and twenty-seven years.”
Watch Ellis’ full, on-demand talk to understand how learning and development strategiesunderstand how learning and development strategies are helping the Financial Times to successfully adopt ongoing digital transformation.