The Financial Times has launched a new app to replicate its print newspaper, which will be bundled into its digital subscription offering.
The new FT Digital Edition app curates daily content from its print paper, with a range of new features including headline and article view, offline reading and audio, translation into 25 languages, and an extensive archive dating back a decade.
The objective is to reach customers in locations like South America and Australia where print is difficult to distribute, comes with a significant carbon footprint, and in the case of the former, English is not a first language. It does not signal the phasing out of the print newspaper.
"Print is an integral element of the FT portfolio of products and its future is supported by the FT management board and our owners, Nikkei," says Nicola Halstead, director of print subscriptions and digital editions. "We have no plans to cease producing a printed newspaper."
Rather, the FT Digital Edition is included in the standard and premium digital subscription, priced at £35 or £55 a month respectively.
On whether this would price out its intended target audience, Halstead says: "We have dedicated readers all over the world. The app version of the FT Digital Edition allows us to extend our full print offering in a sustainable and accessible way no matter where our readers are."
Last year, the FT rolled out the FT Edit app, also marketed as a supplementary product to its broader news coverage. That app offers eight hand-picked stories every weekday and aims to reach a new group of readers.
While also offering a curated experience, the difference is that The FT Digital Edition app showcases the full breadth of the publication, from the daily newspaper through to the FT Weekend Magazine, HTSI (its luxury section How To Spent It) and regional editions.
"We anticipate that the FT Digital Edition will meet a different type of demand for a curated, sustainable FT news experience," concludes Halstead.
The FT first launched Digital Edition, previously known as the ePaper, as a paid-for desktop product in 2015 and then as a standalone subscription in 2020 which doubled the volume of reader sales.
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