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10 Great Media Sites: FINANCIAL TIMES

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URL: www.ft.com
Company: Financial Times Ltd.
Paid digital subscribers: 126,281 (March 2010)
Registered users: 2.3 million (May 2010)
Source: Self-reported

With a brand that dates back 112 years, the U.K.-based Financial Times continues to break new ground in the digital realm. As of March, FT.com had more than 126,000 paid subscribers, an increase of 15% year-over-year. By May, the steadily growing registered user base had reached 2.3 million, up a whopping 138% year-over-year.

The brand is executing a twofold strategy that FT.com Managing Director Rob Grimshaw termed "a direct relationship with the audience." The brand is striving to generate more money from its content, with the goal across all platforms and geographic regions of having content revenue overtake total advertising by 2012. FT.com has also begun testing a micropayment option in which users can pay to view unlimited content for one day. Users who want to view a limited amount of content for free—currently 10 articles per month—must register.

"Registered users are incredibly valuable, and the information we gain from them has turbocharged other areas of our business," Grimshaw said. "It drives the advertising side because we have a fundamentally different offering [from free and non-registration sites], and we reoriented our marketing to focus on using the knowledge we have about our registered users to power marketing."

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