The Financial Times now has one million paying digital subscribers, an all-time high and significant moment in its digital transformation. It reached one million total subscribers, including print customers, in 2019.
More than half of FT subscribers are based outside the UK, illustrating the publication’s global reach. In recent years the FT has invested in expanding its readership in the US in particular, which now accounts for more than 20% of its subscriber numbers.
The FT first introduced a paywall in 2002. It pioneered a ‘metered’ access model in 2007 before moving in 2015 to paid trials as its primary model. Digital journalism revenues are now equal to all of its other revenue streams combined, while the FT’s iconic pink newspaper continues to be profitable: in fact, the FT Weekend publication has seen circulation increase by double digits in the past two years.
CEO John Ridding said: “This is another milestone in our successful digital transformation and a strategy we have been pursuing for over a decade. The FT is proof that quality journalism can be a quality growth business, and digital journalism can be a quality global business.”
Editor Roula Khalaf said: “The FT is unique in delivering scoops, deep analysis, investigations, commentary and culture, all from a truly global perspective. Through the pandemic and beyond readers relied on us for trusted coverage and insight - and we have responded with ever more engaging formats like visual storytelling, film and data journalism.”
Having established a substantial, professional customer base, the publisher plans to expand its readership with new products and formats. It will shortly release an app that targets non-business readers, available initially on iOS. This will tap into the FT’s extensive social media following, growing podcast listenership and readers of its themed newsletters.
The FT won 30 global awards for its journalism in 2021, including both International and National Newspaper of the Year at the News Awards, as well as multiple accolades for reporting on Greensill Capital and the collapse of Wirecard.
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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.