Financial Times Frees Some Of Its Content, Sort Of

from the set-it-free dept

Earlier this summer, we suggested that the Financial Times could beat the Wall Street Journal to the punch by differentiating itself by freeing up its content. Now that the WSJ is expected to remove its paywall, Financial Times has announced that it would remove the paywall for its online content by allowing casual readers free access up to 30 articles for free each month. First time visitors to FT are rewarded with freely available content. After five articles, registration is required, and then after 30, access is cut off. So, according to Pavlov, the Financial Times wants to discourage heavy users of its content by making it more difficult to use the more that they use it -- not exactly a good business move.

So, sure, the FT has a loyal subscriber base today, but the current paywall model does not encourage growth. By offering all of their content for free, they can grow their reader base into avid readers, a percent of which can then be converted to subscribers. By no means should they give up on subscriber revenue; they just need to give subscribers a good reason to pay. FT already offers access to tomorrow's paper as a benefit to subscribing -- this is a good example of a premium good. Give subscribers more of these types of benefits: from custom reports to events and conferences, and they will continue to be loyal paying customers. As we've said time and time again, "free" is a vital part of an online media business model and not something to be feared, but rather, it should be embraced.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: paywall
Companies: financial times

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. identicon
    Random, 2 Oct 2007 @ 3:15am

    Reading this just

    Reading this just makes me wonder who comes up with business models like this. Do they seriously think this will work well?

    Most businesses in this area just seem scared to completely give up content for free without restriction.

    Personally, if something only lets me get part of what I want without subscription, I go elsewhere for the full thing with no hassle

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.