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Financial Times aposta em assinaturas de um dólar
Numa entrevista ao repórter John Cassidy da revista New Yorker, o executivo chefe do Financial Times, John Ridding explicou detalhes da venda do jornal para o grupo japonês Nikkei e porque o sistema de acesso pago (paywall) foi trocado pelo de assinaturas com preços irrisórios.
Ridding afirma que o sistema de acesso pago, já usado por muitas publicações como o The New York Times, Folha de São Paulo e Estado de São Paulo, não favorece a fidelização do leitor, enquanto a cobrança de assinaturas mensais de um dólar (um euro, na Europa, e uma libra, na Inglaterra) incentiva o retorno e o o acesso aos dados pessoais do usuário. Cada vez que um leitor busca uma matéria do Financial Times, ele é convidado a fazer uma assinatura de um dólar pelo prazo de um mês, quando tem acesso a todos os conteúdos do jornal.
Seguem-se os três primeiros parágrafos da reportagem do New Yorker:
In a generally depressing decade for newspapers, the Financial Times, a global business publication based in London, has provided something of a bright spot. In emphasizing digital distribution early on and setting up a metered paywall, which allowed readers to access a limited number of posts each month before they had to purchase a (pricey) subscription, the F.T. pioneered a business model that was widely adopted elsewhere, including at this magazine. Today, the F.T. has almost three quarters of a million paying readers, more than at any point in its hundred-and-twenty-seven-year history. Roughly two thirds of those readers are digital subscribers, who pay high prices: as much as four hundred and eighty dollars a year.
This year, two big things have happened at the F.T. In March, it abandoned its metered paywall and switched to a new business model based on offering readers cheap trial subscriptions. And, in July, Pearson PLC, the corporate owner of the F.T., sold it to Nikkei, a Japanese media company, for $1.3 billion. Since the sale, the paper hasn’t said much about its plans for the future. Recently, however, I interviewed John Ridding, the F.T.’s chief executive, in New York, and I began by asking him about the purchase by Nikkei, which he helped to negotiate.
When the news was first reported, both the buyer and the price raised eyebrows. Although Nikkei is a dominant presence in Japan, where it sells more than 2.5 million newspapers a day, the company hadn’t previously expressed much interest in expanding beyond Asia. Moreover, in outbidding Axel Springer, a German media company, Nikkei paid almost forty times the thirty-seven million dollars in operating earnings that the F.T. generated in 2014. In a post at Nieman Journalism Lab, the news analyst Ken Doctor noted that the price, relative to earnings, is “about 10 times what an average U.S. daily, large or small, would sell for today.” Why was Nikkei so eager to get its hands on the F.T.?
Para ler o texto integral da reportagem, acesse aqui.