Financial Times deputy CEO and global commercial director Ben Hughes says the company will continue to expand its brand and push for paid content.
Despite a 12 percent drop in revenue for FT group 2009, Hughes maintains that FT’s parent company, Pearson, performed much better than predicted. One reason for this might be the group’s decision to extend the Financial Times brand into conferences and events, providing a bolster during the recession and at a time when the future of print remains shaky. In fact, revenues from these conferences are up 5 percent.
Looking forward, Hughes says the group will continue to encourage readers to pay for content, noting that FT.com’s current pay-for-content model saw a fifteen percent increase in reader subscriptions in 2009. Pushing for paid content, says Hughes, is simple and not exactly revolutionary: “We believe that if you are charging for content in print, then there is no reason why you should not do that online.”
The company will also continue to expand its brand through acquisitions, such as the recently-acquired exec-appointments.com (which, as of posting, was down for maintenance).