The Financial Times has reached a record paying readership of one 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.
“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,” Financial Times CEO John Ridding said.
“By pioneering a subscription model and investing in digital transformation, we have proved that quality journalism can be a quality, growth business,” he said.
This is a turbulent time for newspapers and media houses to endure value of independent, authoritative and reliable reporting and analysis in a time of fake news, sensationalism and polarization.
The Financial Times first introduced a paywall in 2002. Ahead of the pack, 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 its circulation, although the iconic print newspaper continues to be profitable. 70 per cent of Financial Times readers are outside the UK, illustrating the publication’s global reach.
Management account figures show the Financial Times Group recorded a strong financial performance last year, with operating revenues totalling £383m and operating profits of £25m. Revenues and profits have continued to rise since the Financial Times was acquired by Nikkei in 2015.
Under editor Lionel Barber, the Financial Times won nearly 50 global awards and honours 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. The Financial Times also won ‘News Provider of the Year’ at the British Journalism Awards.
About the Financial Times
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.
About the FT Group
The FT Group provides a broad range of business information, news and services. It includes the Financial Times and FT.com, Medley Global Advisors, 16 news and information brands under FT Specialist, and a number of joint ventures.