Financial Times Girds for Battle With Rupert

With Rupert Murdoch talking about taking The Wall Street Journals Web site free, Financial Times is girding its loins for battle.

 

The newspaper announced yesterday that later this month it will initiate a program that allows online readers to access 30 articles a month without registering as paying members of the site.

Presently most of its content requires a subscription.

While other newspapers like The New York Times have been dismantling paid-content schemes, publications like Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal stand to lose more by going free, since they have a natural market of deep-pocketed corporate expense accounts to drain for subscription revenue.

But if Mr. Murdoch is willing to take that risk to expand the Journal's readership, its main competitor may find itself stuck if it doesn't follow suit.

From The Times' article today:

 

The shift, part of what Mr. Ridding described as a broad overhaul of FT.comthat will be phased in over several months, comes as other newspapers are rethinking their efforts to charge users for online content. A surge in online ad spending over the last three years has persuaded many publishers that it is better to increase their Internet audience, in an effort to appeal to advertisers, than to try to squeeze meager revenue from online subscriptions.