Financial Times surpasses 700,000 digital subscribers and boasts highest readership in 130-year history - Press Gazette

Financial Times surpasses 700,000 digital subscribers and boasts highest readership in 130-year history

The Financial Times claims to have exceeded 900,000 ‘paying readers’ for the first time.

The title has seen a surge in digital subscribers since April when it revealed the total stood at 650,000, up 14 per cent year on year. At the time it said Brexit and the US presidential election appeared to have particularly fuelled subscriber growth.

Press Gazette understands that the FT hit the new figure last week for the first time and the new total is likely to be reflected in audited circulation figures for the fourth quarter of this year.

The total is arrived at by adding total print circulation with digital subscribers.

Global print circulation is around 190,000 per day (which includes around 26,000 UK bulks which are not actively purchased).

This means digital subscribers (including corporate and institutional subscriptions) must now be well in excess of 700,000. The vast majority of digital subscribers (around 500,000) are corporate, ie. staff at organisations which have bought a company-wide subscriptions.

In a note to staff, chief executive John Ridding said: “Last week, we burst through the 900,000 paid-for reader level.

“That is a major milestone and a fantastic achievement, and I wanted to say a big thank you for getting us to this historic record. Never before in our 130-year history have so many people paid to read the FT.

“It was a company-wide and coordinated push – from our excellent editorial coverage, with a string of strong exclusives and beautifully written features, to smart marketing, customer service and product and tech. It was also the result of many individual efforts, such as sending gift articles to friends and contacts and spreading the message about the FT.

“The numbers matter. A strong subscriber base will stand us in good stead as we confront the various cyclical and structural challenges affecting news media and many of our customers and clients.  Above all, this performance shows the dynamism of our global business and brand at a time when others are flagging.

“There is much more to play for, so let’s keep this momentum building. The next stop is the major milestone of one million.”



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.

Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette


2 thoughts on “Financial Times surpasses 700,000 digital subscribers and boasts highest readership in 130-year history”

  1. Corporate/institutional mass subscriptions hardly equate to the same number of individuals each autonomously deciding to subscribe. Even in the highly unlikely event that every man jack of corporate recipients diligently opens and reads their company-provided issue, it would still be paid for by their employer. Just because staff are covered by a blanket subscription, they themselves do not become paying readers, or even necessarily readers.

  2. The solidity of that readership has likely decreased dramatically. The FT used to have a strong reputation for unbiased journalism which made it expected reading for the business community. Now they have sexed up most of their articles which makes them little different to the broad sheets. They have legacy goodwill in the financial community, but their position has actually never been more vulnerable.

Comments are closed.