More refining on paywalls, from one of the first to introduce them. The Financial Times is gearing up to launch a “day pass” to access its content online and by mobile this year. But for now it is ruling out charging for individual articles until the right technology is in place.
The object of the day pass is to bring in new subscribers through a gradual process: “[Day passes are] something we think will have a market. It’s reasonable to assume there are a lot of people who will quite happily pay that, but aren’t willing to commit to one year’s subscription in one go,” Rob Grimshaw, the managing director of FT.com, told Journalism.co.uk.
Grimshaw says that charging per article would be something the FT would like to consider, but the technology won’t be available until later in the year.
John Ridding, the chief executive of the FT Group, a division of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), said this month that content revenues will overtake print advertising revenues by 2012.
Part of FT’s success story has been its mobile apps. The FT’s mobile app is free of charge, but like the FT.com, it follows a tiered charging model, with unpaid subscribers getting three articles per month free. The FT says it has had 200,000 downloads of its iPhone app to date, and it is planning to relaunch a new version of its app for BlackBerry devices, with an app for Android devices also in the works.
Grimshaw will be speaking more about paid content models for mobile and online at paidContent’s conference, paidContent 2010: Discussing the economics of content, taking place on February 19 in New York.