Financial Times CEO John Ridding has been making the media rounds this week, bragging about FT circulation revenues rising in 2009. Despite a dip in print circulation, revenues from FT.com rose 30% during the year.
Within the past year or 18 months, the U.S. has become their biggest market online and in print, he told CNBC during the Closing Bell show. Their subscribers want to read about the financial collapse from the global perspective, he said.
This incredible chart flashed across the screen. The dip in advertising is shocking, but so is that blue line showing digital revenues.
“A lot of people feel that digital turns print dollars into digital cents,” Ridding said. “But, actually, you’ve got to consider the distribution costs as well. The cost of distribution over digital channels, particularly for a global publication like us, is a very significant consideration. So the extent to which these digital channels work and maybe people adopt iPads and e-readers, for us, the potential for reaching a broader market in a cost-effective way is very attractive.”
“The profitability per reader is actually pretty similar,” he adds.
Well, Ridding might want to take a look at Apple’s revenue-sharing plan. They are asking for a 30% cut of their iPad app sales. Ken Doctor tells us that’s about the same amount newspapers and magazines pay up to distribute their print products.
The Financial Times’ distribution costs are likely higher than the average media company, since they have to get their paper all over the world. But the FT could still direct subscribers to its website on the iPad and not have to give up the extra revenue to Apple.
The Financial Times’ iPad app seems so ridiculously expensive to us, we’re not sure if they will have to give up much iPad app revenue in the first place.
But tell us if you’d be willing to buy it.
Watch the full interview here:
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