Comments on: The FT’s decline http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: rpmcestmoi http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-45261 Mon, 17 Dec 2012 20:56:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-45261 Nothing justifies that near 400 dollar price for a year for print. Nothing.

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By: asaramis http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-24532 Mon, 07 Mar 2011 14:31:55 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-24532 Question…doesn’t your salary come from a firm that charges 10-15k per terminal user to subsidize a money-losing news gathering organization? I wish we could all be that lucky. Can we please have the Felix Salmon of old back, the journo who walked the walk?

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By: asaramis http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-24531 Mon, 07 Mar 2011 14:31:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-24531 Question…doesn’t your salary come from a firm that charges 10-15k per terminal user to subsidize a money-losing news gathering organization? I wish we could all be that lucky. Can we please have the Felix Salmon of old back, the journo who walked the walk?

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By: gsatell http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-24530 Mon, 07 Mar 2011 12:28:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-24530 Great article.

For me, a good general rule to follow is that advertisers are willing to pay more for consumers than consumers are willing to pay for content.

There are, of course, exceptions and FT might be one of them. However, I think you’re right to say that by going with a paywall, they are relegating themselves to the status of a niche medium.

– Greg

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By: ABT http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-24525 Mon, 07 Mar 2011 00:22:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-24525 You mention Alphaville being free. It was the only part of the FT site I used regularly (I always hit my 10 articles limit but I have no idea how many more articles I would read so never seemed worthwhile paying) but in the last week most of the articles seem to be included within the 6am cut section and are therefore behind the paywall. Or at least the ones I clicked on from my RSS feed were.

The biggest annoyance for me over the FT paywall structure is how they treat outside sites like Facebook. I used to follow both The Economist and FT on there. Pretty much every day The Economist would share 3/4 articles on there which were available to everyone. The FT ones though were almost inevitably behind the paywall or required a subscription to view (none of my friends were able to view even one article without subscribing when I needed them to check something for me). This meant I couldn’t actually view most of the stuff they filled my newsfeed with, and what I could none of my friends were able to so I couldn’t even have a conversation with them about it while in work/pub.

Maybe my reaction is atypical but I now have a full subscription to The Economist while rarely even bother with the FT anymore.

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By: SGKingsley http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-24521 Sun, 06 Mar 2011 22:31:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-24521 “When you look at the history of the FT, I can’t think of any time when it has tried to be a mass-market, general publication…As the New York Times has shown us, being part of the conversation…isn’t exactly the most profitable model anymore.”

But FT isn’t the NYTimes. NYTimes is a general news provider; FT provides something much more actionable, financial intelligence. If it became an indispensable part of the online financial community, a sort of authoritative clearinghouse of financial intelligence across the whole Web, it can much more easily sell subscriptions and information services like China Confidential (or India Intelligencer, or whatever, pick any name), drawing upon its status as the elephant in the room that nobody can afford to ignore.

At the end of the day, times change, and we must change with them. While before the advent of the internet financial intelligence providers like FT operated well in rivalrous, print-based subscription formats, the internet is in fact an opportunity, not a threat, for something like the FT; because of its unrivaled expertise it can become what it had not been before: a dominant, global trading floor for financial intelligence. And it can mean immense profits.

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By: N.Mycroft http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-24518 Sun, 06 Mar 2011 21:43:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-24518 I completely agree. The FT is the best English-language newspaper in the world. It should be pulling an Al Jazeera and shocking people with how good it is. It ought to be one of the primary nodes of discussion on the open web. Instead, it seems to want to be the newspaper/website of the global financial elite. This crowd has price-inelastic demand and is an attractive advertising demographic, but also comprises a limited pool of potential users. There is a terminus there. The open model, by contrast, has no limit to pageviews and offers access to many different advertising demographics.

There is also a moral dimension here. By providing the best information and analysis only to the elite, the FT widens the gulf that has opened up between this elite and everyone else. I question whether being the newspaper of Davos Man is anything to aspire to.

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By: KeithTrivitt http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/06/the-fts-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-24517 Sun, 06 Mar 2011 21:33:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=7512#comment-24517 Felix, I highly respect your expert opinions and perspective on many pertinent issues, particularly within the media business, but on this front, I think you have massively missed the point.

A couple of relevant ideas you threw out that I think are simply off:

1. “[The FT is] keeping its US rates lower because it’s still having difficulty breaking into this market.”

I’m not sure this is right, as most reports I’ve read over the past year point to the U.S. as the strongest growth market for the FT. And much like the Economist, the FT is actually adding more subscribers in the U.S. than it is in most other markets. And within certain market sectors – media reporting, tech and niche financials – I’d argue that the FT ranks at the top of some of the biggest media outlets in the country, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and yes, Reuters. I know I turn to the FT far more often and see it as having far more relevant and in-depth coverage in tech and media than I do those other media outlets.

2. Your point that the FT focusing on a freemium model with heavy use of newsletters versus the more standard online model of simply scooping up every eyeball on the Web that they can find seems a bit odd. When you look at the history of the FT, I can’t think of any time when it has tried to be a mass-market, general publication. In fact, in my estimation, it’s greatest strengths are that it is nothing like many general publications, so why should it change its tactics online? If it’s merely to “be part of the conversation,” as you put it, I’d argue, what for? As the New York Times has shown us, being part of the conversation, even that amounts to 20 million unique monthly visitors to your website and millions of tweets about your articles each day, isn’t exactly the most profitable model anymore.

I don’t doubt that there are things the FT can and should do to improve its product, both in print and online/mobile/tablet, just like every media outlet. But trying to paint it as the “FT’s decline,” as your headline asserts, seems to be reaching, at best.

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