Thursday, May 21, 2009

FT invests in new studios to boost digital offering

The Financial Times is aping a recent move by News International, by making a significant investment in multimedia studios, as it looks to refresh and incorporate more video on its homepage.

Two studios are being built that will be used by FT correspondents to provide content for's video and audio channels online.
Content will include news, analysis from across the world and head-to-head interviews, as well as special projects and reports, making full use of the opportunities video offers. The audio studio will be used for podcasts as well as round table discussions.
The Pearson-owned business newspaper will charge non-subscribers to use the online video service, if they use the service more than 10 times a month. If visitors use the site more than three times in a month, they will be asked to register. has had more than one million video views for its current service, which was boosted by the launch of the FT mini-player in July. The paper already produces up to 170 videos every month.
The site attracts 11.4 million unique users a month, generating 83.2 million page views (ABCe figures, March 2009), and of these, 109,609 are subscribers, an increase of 8% over the same period last year.
The new video channel will continue to be supported by pre and post-roll advertising, although Jon Slade, global online and strategic advertising sales director, said it was looking at developing a less interruptive experience for users.
Slade said the sales team that worked across all media platforms would work with advertisers to give them better insight into users' online behaviour. Advertisers on the video service include Microsoft, IBM and Rolex. "We've seen a big shift in luxury brands moving in to the online video space," Slade added.
Richard Edgar, head of video, said if the FT was not involved in publishing in these new formats, it would lose its audience.


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