Scoop: Financial Times nears 1 million digital-only subscribers
The Financial Times will soon reach 1 million digital-only subscribers, a source familiar with the numbers confirms to Axios.
Why it matters: The FT has had a digital paywall since 2002. It was one of the first publishers to introduce a metered paywall in 2007, before transitioning over to paid subscription trials in 2015.
- The company has seen subscriptions surge in recent months amid efforts to expand globally outside of the U.K. and experiments with subscriber-only products.
By the numbers: In total, the company has 1.17 million paid subscribers and will reach 1 million digital-only subscribers later this month, according to internal estimates. It's unclear how many of those subscribers are on promotional plans.
- Roughly 500,000 subscribers come from the U.K., with the U.S. its second-biggest market.
Flashback: The FT said it topped 1 million paid readers in 2019, but that figure included print subscribers.
- The FT was bought by Japanese media giant Nikkei for $1.3 billion in 2015. Executives in the past have credited Nikkei's support for its success in building out its subscription model.
By the numbers: For the full year of 2021, the FT's total group revenues, including journalism products and other professional services, reached £438 million, or $593 million, up 18% year-over-year.
- Digital journalism makes up 46% of total revenues.
The big picture: There's been a surge in digital subscriptions across digital news outlets. In December, The Guardian surpassed 1 million digital-only subscribers.
What's next: In March, the company will launch a new app called "The FT Edit app" that will give readers access to eight feature articles every weekday at a much lower price point.
- The app will be available to subscribers via Apple's app store. The paper has historically had disagreements with Apple over revenue and data sharing agreements.
What to watch: Last month, journalists at the Financial Times' U.S. operation said they are looking to unionize, arguing that the U.S. accounts for 30% of the FT’s global readership, but that the U.S. newsroom accounts for 11% of the company’s 700 journalists.