The Financial Times is aiming straight for consumers with this one: The FT working with Foursquare on a new partnership that would give free subscriptions to FT.com to users who “check-in” to select spots.
We confirmed with the FT that the deal will launch in the coming weeks with an updated version of Foursquare’s social-mobile application.
Here is how it will work: The FT partnered with select coffee shops located by major financial centres and near business schools including Columbia, Harvard, the London School of Economics, London Business School and London’s Cass Business School.
Visitors to the cafes can “check-in” on Foursquare and some of them earn a secret code to unlock premium FT.com subscriptions.
Update: An FT spokesperson clarified that only a limited number of “mayors” (users with the most check-ins at a specific location) will get subscriptions. The free subscription will only be available for a limited time.
A premium FT.com subscription costs $309 a year, which isn’t very appealing to young business students who are used to getting their news for free online or on student services.
But the Foursquare deal opens the FT up beyond their typical straight-laced business subscribers, and attempts to get a decidedly younger, more web-savvy potential consumer interacting with their brand.
This is a somewhat surprising move from the FT, which has been building more restrictions on FT.com for users who don’t pay to view their content and has been exploring other expensive revenue streams.
But those tough stances on paying for news keep their digital revenues going up and the FT wants more subscribers, of all kinds, to their services.
An FT spokesman wrote to us an email: “We’re always looking for new ways to engage with our audience and tap into a younger demographic and a new generation of FT readers and social media channels are central to this [new Foursquare partnership]. Facebook is a great example as our average fan is about 10 years younger than the average FT reader.”
If any of you business people who have no idea how Foursquare works, this 118-second video will tell you how.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.