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The number of people registering with FT.com “went from 200 to 400 a week up to between 15,000 and 17,000 a week” since introducing a new access model in November, FT CEO John Ridding tells Portfolio. “We’ve been very encouraged by the numbers. The page view numbers are knocking on the door of about 10 million a month, 100 percent change.” Last audited ABCe figures for FT.com in Q1 2007 showed 5.35 million unique monthly users.
In a partial lowering of its pay wall, FT.com now allows readers coming in from blogs and other aggregators to read five stories a month for free and another 30 for free upon registering with the site; after that, it’s pay-up time. Ridding: “The idea is you’re constantly funneling (subscribers) through, and we’re not sure yet how the old subscribers will react, but so far so good.” Why did he buy Money-Media this month? “It’s digital, and we want to get bigger in digital.”
Ridding seems to be on something of a publicity drive at present – here’s Reuters’ interview from last week. And each time he plays down any possible threat from a Murdoch Wall Street Journal. In Reuters: “This idea of kind of a zero-sum game showdown between two kinds of publications, I think, frankly, that that