Mobile Kicks Up Subscriptions For 'FT'


Readers using mobile devices are responsible for 20% of new online subscriptions to the Financial Times, according to chief executive John Ridding, who attributed the increase to the explosive growth of tablet computers.

Altogether, the Financial Times paid iPad app has been downloaded 480,000 times, Ridding said, in an interview with Reuters. He noted that "the rapid emergence of tablet devices is a potentially profound development for publishers."

Newspaper publishers like Ridding and News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch are betting that mobile subscribers seem to be more willing to pay for mobile access to quality content. That's contrasted with readers on other digital platforms, especially the Internet, where they have become accustomed to getting online content for free.



The FT Web site recently erected a pay wall requiring readers to pay after viewing a certain number of articles for free. A similar model is in the works for The New York Times Web site, which expects to begin charging heavy users for access to some content by the end of the first quarter.

This week Murdoch's News Corp. unveiled The Daily, a digital newspaper for Apple's iPad, available via an app costing $0.99 per week or $39.99 per year. By persuading consumers to pay for the product, Murdoch explained in an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, that "advertisers will respect it more."

Murdoch also said he hopes to renegotiate the terms of revenue sharing with Apple, so News Corp. gets to keep a larger share of the subscription price.

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