The Financial Times has reported that digital revenues have overtaken print for the first time. The famous pink, financial newspaper, now privately owned by the Japanese firm Nikkei, also announced digital subscriptions have now topped 650,000, with spikes in sales following Brexit and the US presidential election.
In 2016, the newspaper saw digital subscriptions climb by 14 percent while its print circulation fell by 6 percent. The print edition now has a circulation of 184,279 copies split between the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and The United States.
FT chief executive John Ridding said: “Our first year in partnership with our new owners Nikkei saw the FT achieve record levels of paid-for readership and investment in new digital products and revenue streams.
“These will help ensure the sustained success of the FT’s business transformation and support for our unrivalled quality global journalism. We are developing substantial areas of cooperation with our partners at Nikkei, based on our shared values and vision.”
The FT’s digital sales success follows a similar pattern of The Economist who are also enjoying rising revenues despite the challenges facing the print industry and the ever-present threat from search engines, social media networks and potentially crippling ad-blocking technologies.
The digital growth of these laser-focused business titles demonstrates that quality content always outweighs sheer quantity of content. This is something the regional press in particular would do well to remember as editorial cuts lead to a greater reliance on low-quality, “clickbait” style journalism. The fact is, readers will pay for content if that content is well written, focused and, above all, useful.
There is however, a caveat to the story.
The Financial Times will not be revealing any figures relating to profit or loss. As a private company they are perfectly entitled not to reveal this information. However, as a media pundit I would love to see if their digital success is delivering significant financial returns. Interpret this will of silence as you will.