VIDEO: How the FT plans to reach one million paid subscribers

Paid content goals (0:02)

We actually released a very big goal to reach 1 million paid subscribers in the next few years. We’re currently at 780,000 which is not too far. But still, how we can actually reach that goal? The leadership gave us some visions saying audience engagement will help us reach that paid content goal, because by getting more people actually engaging on the content then we can better serve them, to give them most value from our editorial perspective. 

Subscriptions/Advertising (0:34)

From a subscription perspective it’s like if we actually get more people engaged with us we can increase the acquisition and retention rates and also increase the lifetime value of our customers.

And also from an advertising perspective, the FT starting to charge advertisers based on cost per hour instead of just impressions so that means that the longer people stay on the website the more we can actually get from the revenues from advertisers.

Are engagement metrics impacting demographics too? (1:02) Yeah not only just by the traditional ways… y’know the regional, or age or industry. But it’s looking at people based on their behaviours and engagement with the FT, how we should better serve our products and content to them.

Evolving newspaper content formats (1:18)

So, in terms of content it’s actually all kinds of formats. FT is traditionally known as a newspaper business, so people think we can only write articles. But that’s not the case anymore: we generate content in all types of formats, and have different lengths of videos. Like 30 seconds works well for Facebook. We also produce 20 minutes like a mini documentary and also promote our YouTube.

In terms of other content we have infographic or we have all kinds of charts. We recently launched a new product called The Day in 4 Charts, which is actually a 40sec video. Every day our Editor will pick 4 very interesting facts and create as charts and put it into a video. There’s no sound, just like charts with captions, and it’s actually distributed only on social media. And that’s the way we actually drive a lot of new readers we were never able to reach from our old website.

Finally, is this cultural shift bringing content and commercial closer together? (2:18)

Our marketing group will inform [content] people about editorial calendar, top themes, and specific upcoming editorial products & features – and also help them think about what are the content marketing strategies. We help them with the sales funnel from increase the brand awareness to create quality leads applying our audiences and also increase the retention rate of our paid subscribers.

So content plays a really key role, and content should be our best marketing tool because we’re a media company.   

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