According to BrandRepublic, the Financial Times iPad app is about to surpass 500,000 downloads in 8 months, with its iPhone app having generated at least 600,000 downloads to date.
The FT’s iPad app launched in May 2010, registering 486,000 overall downloads by the end of January. The app allows iPad subscribers to download the daily edition to their iPad for offline reading, access content across all sections of FT.com and view the FT’s award-winning high quality video content, all of which are available for free for the first two months.
In October, we reported that the app had generated over £1m in advertising revenue since launching, we imagine that the figure has substantially risen since as downloads have continued to increase.
Recently the Financial Times began offering a £300 rebate to its 1,800 staff, allowing them to purchase an iPad or another tablet computer, a move aimed at encouraging workers to get in the habit of reading the publication on digital devices. With the Financial Times already having an app available for both the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab the move cost The Financial Times around £540,000 but had the added benefit of increasing the publications tablet reader figures.
News Corp. recently published a new digital offering The Daily, exclusively for US iPad owners. News publications, worried by the decline in print sales, are looking to new avenues of content distribution, focusing on digital alternatives including tablets to retain customers.
The FT iPad apps quite clearly shows these methods are working but tablet news subscriptions are small in number on tablet devices at the moment. It could become a very populated market within the next few years and choosing which publication to subscribe to could be overwhelming for users.