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The FT.com, whose metered model has been considered an example for other outlets, such as the NYTimes.com, has 1.9 million registered users, plus 121,000 paying subscribers, said the site’s Managing Director Rob Grimshaw in a Q&A with ContentNext Managing Editor Ernie Sander at paidContent 2010.
Grimshaw on why the FT is also offering micropayment options: Print subs is 200,000, but circ is 400,000. Half have no long-term commitment. Online is different. But we believe the patterns are similar. If we don’t offer that channel, we’ll never know. So it’s an experiment. We introduced a day-pass online in one market and see whether we can apply it to other markets.
— Our own Rafat Ali asked Grimshaw about the different experiences registered users face and the leap of faith users often have to take when visiting a site that’s walled off to a certain extent. While Grimshaw didn’t exactly address the issue of giving users a consistent experience, he did insist that the FT.com is trying to find ways to satisfy varying consumer desires: “We are not trying to push people away. We’re striving to make the experience better. I don’t see anything wrong with asking people to register and I don’t see anything wrong with asking people to pay for it.”
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