April 1, 2019 / 9:33 AM / a year ago

Financial Times reaches a million paying readers

FILE PHOTO: The cover of the Financial Times newspaper is seen with other papers at a news stand in New York U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The Financial Times has reached a milestone of a million paying readers, it said on Monday, with revenues and profits continuing to rise since the London-based business publication was acquired by Japan’s Nikkei from Pearson in 2015.

The FT was one of the first newspapers to introduce a paywall, in 2002, charging online readers for news they had come to expect for free on the internet in a trend that challenged the business model of printed news media.

The New York Times followed in 2011 following years of debate and in November said it had more than 3 million paying digital-only subscribers and more than 4 million subscribers in total, including the print edition.

The FT’s digital subscribers account for more than three-quarters of its circulation. The pink-paged print edition continues to be profitable, the FT said.

It established a metered access model in 2007, requiring users to register and charging them if they read more than a certain number per month, before switching to paid trials as its primary pay model in 2015, in which readers would get access to most FT content for a month for a small sum.

The FT’s operating profit was 25 million pounds ($33 million) in 2018 and operating revenue was 383 million.

“We have proved that quality journalism can be a quality, growth business. We have also shown the enduring value of independent, authoritative and reliable reporting and analysis,” the FT’s Chief Executive John Ridding said in a statement.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Keith Weir

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