Updated: FT.com Subs Rate Trebles In Dark Financial Times

Update: FT.com later told paidContent:UK there had been no increase in premium subs of the kind reported. Page views were 300 percent up Thursday and unique users were up 250 percent – both compared to last year/

Original: If there’s one sector that does profit in a financial meltdown, it’s business journalism. FT.com, for example, saw take-up of its premium subscriptions this week three times higher than normal (whatever that is). MD Rob Grimshaw (via J.co.uk) said FT.com page views were up 300 percent and unique users up 250 percent compared to last year, with double the normal rate of free registrations.

Still, that “normal number of (weekly) subscriptions” may not be a big baseline. Despite enticing readers with more free articles when it unveiled a new access model in November, as of July the number of paying subscribers was largely unchanged at around 100,000. Also, much of this week’s traffic increase, which is year-on-year, can be accounted for in the general audience hike FT.com has seen over the last year – up 32.9 percent annually as of March.

Still, Grimshaw said one of the biggest financial news days in the last half-century brought it “an explosion”, with the Alphaville live markets blog also shifting plenty of bits. Don’t worry if FT.com isn’t adding subs at a rate of knots – the news site has not one business model, but many, each tailored for a particular kind of user.