Screenshot of FT.com
Site traffic has 'exploded' at FT.com this week, as a result of the current financial crisis.

According to FT.com internal figures, page views on the site yesterday were up 300 per cent and unique users up 250 per cent compared to figures for the same date last year.

Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com, told Journalism.co.uk the site has had 'double the normal rate of registrations on the site, and actually treble the normal number of subscriptions.'

According to the last set of FT.com figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic (ABCe) in March, unique users of the site had grown 32.9 per cent year-on-year.

But Grimshaw, who believes publishers should keep the right to charge for content, said this week's statistics were out of the ordinary.

"It is an explosion. Fortunately we have very robust systems and the site has performed very well over the past week and we haven't had any outages, or anything like that. Everything's held up and we're very pleased with the technical side."

Asked if it was odd to be performing so well at a time of financial downturn, Grimshaw described the situation as 'a double-edged sword'.

"For us, and any other financial business, it is a very interesting period," he said.

"[But] it's not an exaggeration to say we've seen the biggest financial news days for well over 50 years. For all our journalists it has been a remarkable week.

"It's very, very gratifying to us that although a lot of things going on in the financial market are very worrying, people turn to the FT brand when they really need to know what's happening in the global economy," Grimshaw said.

"That's something that's holding true online, as it always has in print."

The traffic surge has not come from just passive users, Grimshaw added.

"Our Alphaville live market blog has just been going crazy – in the space of one session, [there were] over 500 comments posted."

According to Grimshaw, US users account for a significant proportion of the increased figures: "That's a market we're working very hard to build at present. Judging by the number of page views they're taking I think they're liking what they find."

FT.com's figures follow a report in the BBC's in-house magazine Ariel, which claimed the BBC's business pages recorded their best ever traffic after reporting the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The BBC online story 'Lehman Bros files for bankruptcy' received more than 1.7 million page views - the most popular story since the business site's birth ten years ago.

bbc

Fishbowl NY has asked 'Was Tuesday the biggest day in internet news media history?', after reports that both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal broke web traffic records.

But it's not good news all round for the financial media sector: Journalism.co.uk learned this week that Incisive Media's Mortgage Risk magazine has been merged with Credit Magazine, as a result of the current economic downturn.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).

blog comments powered by Disqus