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21 October 2016: Following a 30 day experiment to counter the use of ad blocking technology on FT.com, the Financial Times found that almost 40% of readers whitelisted the site when asked to do so. This result came despite the fact that readers were not prevented from accessing content.
A sample of 15,000 registered FT users* were split into three groups and encouraged to whitelist FT.com by giving them varying degrees of access.
The results show that:
Almost 40% of users who continued having unrestricted access to ft.com whitelisted the site when asked to do so.
Nearly half (47%) of users who had words removed from their story whitelisted the site.
Two-thirds (69%) of users whose access was restricted whitelisted FT.com.
A control group showed that 5% of registered users whitelisted the site with no prompt.
Dominic Good, global advertising sales & strategy director, said: “Through open dialogue with FT readers we are emphasising the importance of advertising as a revenue stream for quality, independent journalism. These results show that FT readers accept advertising as part of the reader/publisher value exchange, and they trust us to create the best possible advertising experience with our partners.”
The FT is expanding and investing in new advertising formats with the recent acquisition of Alpha Grid, and the appointment of former FT journalist Ravi Mattu as editorial director of FT2, the FT’s content marketing studio. Last year the FT launched its widely followed digital advertising metric, ‘cost per hour’ (CPH) which increases advertising viewability and effectiveness by measuring not just whether an ad is seen or not, but for how long.
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The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation in excess of 805,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than half of total traffic.