Aggregator wake up call
James Mann attends a dinner to present an award to KPMG for 'best implementation of Factiva', KPMG had just cancelled their Corporate newspaper delivery, relying instead on the FT content provided via Factiva. Meetings with 'City' firms reveals that while FT content is regarded as essential, these readers don't regard themselves as customers of the FT and don't have time to discuss their evolving digital requirements.
It became clear that FT print circulation had declined by 20,000 cpd in the 'city'. We decided to implement a 12 Hr embargo of FT content on 3rd party platforms to protect newspaper circulation. A small corporate sales team sell 25 licences to professional service firms who purchase newspapers and ft.com.
Landing planes in the fog
We introduce direct licensing in April 2008 for rights for groups of ten or more readers to have unlimited access to Financial Times journalism on FT.com and via 27 other authorised channels.
The price of the FT licence is based on the number of readers not the technology platforms used to access the content. The aggregators had not disclosed which corporations used to access the FT on their platforms or who the FT readers are. Yet the organisations where these readers work will need a licence to access the FT on aggregators. We become like air traffic control guiding new corporate customers to land out of the fog (buy a licence).