Friday 23 March 2018

'FT' online urges other publishers to charge

Peter Flanagan and Kristen Schweizer

THE MAN responsible for the 'Financial Times' website has urged other publishers to charge for online content.

Rob Grimshaw, who has headed the newspaper's online operations since June 2008, told a conference in New York that the 'FT' was growing its online operation quickly and now had some 207,000 online subscribers along with its print circulation of about 400,000.

"As a publication we're halfway to replicating our paying print audience in digital and that's a really big deal for our business overall," Mr Grimshaw said.

"Our digital revenues from subscriptions increased by over 50pc year on year."

Mr Grimshaw's comments are the latest in the ongoing debate over paid versus free access to news. Most of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, including 'The Times' and 'The Wall Street Journal', charge for online access, while the 'New York Times' has said it will reintroduce a paywall later this year.

Meanwhile, WPP, the world's largest advertising company, said profit last year increased as ad markets rebounded, led by a recovery in the US.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 16pc to £1.44bn (€1.67bn), the London-based company said in a statement.

Sales gained 7.4pc £9.33bn, a smaller jump than the 20pc reported by rival Publicis Group. WPP declined as much 3.2pc in London trading.

"The shares of WPP had been up because Publicis reported such good results last month," said Alexander Wisch, an analyst at Standard & Poor's Equity Research in London.

Like-for-like revenue was more than 8pc higher in January and is budgeted to rise about 5pc for the whole of 2011.

Irish Independent

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