Considering how vocal Rupert Murdoch has been on the monetary value of online content across his titles, the decision to extend a brand as globally recognised as the FT is a smart move. Deep down, however, it will be revenue rather than exposure that Murdoch is looking for, and there are plenty of ways the FT can utilise its loyal audience behind the scenes.
The fact that the FT’s readers have been such early adopters of the much debated paywall system shows you that they’re prepared to give something back to the brand. The FT should capitalise on this through the collection of reader data, which can be done through unobtrusive survey software embedded into the website. This data can then be collated, added to over time and sold on. The FT is arguably better placed to adopt such a system than any other UK title, and given the clearly defined target audience of the brand, any data produced would undoubtedly be an attractive proposition for any number of suitors.
David Gurney, operations director, Alchemetrics