The Financial Times and Google have committed to significantly expand a programme that supports publishers in their business and digital transformation.
Over the next three years, the programme – part of the Google News Initiative (GNI) publisher programmes and run by the FT’s consultancy FT Strategies – will work with more than 500 publishers in 50 countries to deliver sustainable growth strategies. Established in 2018, the GNI works closely with publishers and journalists to build a more sustainable, diverse and innovative news ecosystem.
Areas of focus include reader revenue, products and technology, data and audience engagement and diversity. Content is tailored for a range of organisations, from smaller, local publishers in the early stages of their digital journey to more established publishers with national and international audiences. In the next year, programmes will be delivered in Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
FT Strategies provides consulting excellence and operational expertise to help businesses transform and thrive in the new digital economy, based on first-hand experience at the FT, which has transformed from a legacy print brand into a thriving digital publisher with more than one million digital subscribers. Consulting support includes analyses of business strategy and performance data, customer research, implementing paid-for models and overhauling content strategy.
FT CEO John Ridding said: “Our experience at the FT in the past decade has shown that quality journalism can be a quality, digital growth business. At a time when the world needs sustainable, trusted journalism and access to news more than ever, I’m delighted that this programme, delivered in partnership with Google, will share that insight and expertise with many more publishers around the world.”
Google Managing Director, Global News Programmes and Ecosystem Olivia Ma said: "The Google News Initiative is focused on empowering publishers to drive sustainable change in news. Our partnership with FT Strategies is one of the ways we continue to deliver inspiring programmes that help establish a solid foundation for digital transformation and support the future of news.”
FT Strategies MD Tara Lajumoke said: “The pandemic’s impact on both international and local publishers has been profound. Audiences relied on quality news sources for information and adopted new, digital consumption habits. This increased competition for readers, made the need to transition to become digital-first more acute and highlighted the importance of capturing first party data to drive profitability.
“A ‘K-shaped’ recovery in the industry has meant that some well-financed, digital-first news organisations have benefited, but print-reliant outlets struggling to make the transition have been put at greater risk. As the FT's consultancy, we know that a winning strategy that includes a reader revenue model and digital transformation can deliver sustainable growth. We are thrilled that this partnership will provide hundreds of publishers with the insights, tools and support they need to sustain their businesses and mission.”
El Pais Chief Solutions, Digital and Technology Officer José Gutiérrez Cuellar said: “As one of many publishers who has benefited from the GNI and FT programmes, we are excited to learn that there will be even more opportunities for publishers like us to receive support in our goal of providing quality and trusted journalism to communities around the world.”
Since FT Strategies was formed in 2019, it has helped over 200 organisations to transform their business models. In 2020, after participating in the Google News Initiative subscriptions programme, eight European publishers including The Independent and El Pais acquired more than 100,000 new subscribers in twelve months, a growth of 31%.
For more information, on to enquire about press access, please contact:
Mark Staniland, Financial Times | firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Suchan, Google | email@example.com
About the Google News Initiative
The Google News Initiative works side-by-side with publishers and journalists to build a more sustainable, diverse and innovative news ecosystem. GNI offers training, products and funding to journalists and newsrooms to help strengthen their work in the digital age, working to bring together industry leaders around the world, cultivating a diverse news community to spur innovation and tackle pressing issues like media literacy and misinformation.
About the Financial Times
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of 1.2 million, more than one million of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.
About FT Strategies
FT Strategies provides the expert insight, integrity and consulting excellence required to transform businesses based on real world, first-hand experience. We work together with our clients to deliver sustainable growth strategies, built on leading-edge capabilities that improve customer engagement, retention, revenues and profit. The FT transformed from a 134-year-old legacy print brand into a thriving digital model and FTS utilises this practical best-in-class expertise to help clients thrive in the digital economy.