FT.com goes even more premium

The Financial Times website sought to show off its long-time paid content credentials as Murdoch made his volte face this summer – effectively: we’re awesome and indispensible, so people will buy us.

Now it’s adding what it hopes will be more reasons to take out its £99-a-year subscription…

A monthly editor’s newsletter from FT ed Lionel Barber, “highlighting big themes for the month ahead and providing updates and insights on new site features”.
Page-turning electronic editions at www.ft.com/FTePaper
FT Newsmine: a Friday email “that abstracts hidden nuggets from FT articles”.

FT says these “enhance” its premium offering, but they don’t seem to offer any hugely compelling new reason to subscribe (Barber’s newsletter is only monthly, and why are there “hidden nuggets” in FT articles at all?).

FT’s premium model has been going just fine of late. Paying subs are up 22% from last year to 121,000, FT.com MD Rob Grimshaw says in the announcement.

Grimshaw’s predecessor Ien Cheng in 2007 gave FT.com a new “third-way” access model that, unlike paid-vs-free, gave up to 30 free articles a month to non-paying readers who nevertheless register with the site for free.

The idea was partly to appeal to casual readers who come in via links. But Grimshaw has since reduced the free article threshold to just 10 a month.

FT.com redesigned its homepage and some other pages 13 months ago – but the site is still a bit of a Frankenstein, with articles still in the old templates.