Could it be that the iPad and its ilk are the savior of the newspaper industry? The jury’s still out but today’s news that the Financial Times’ iPad app has generated a cool £1 million in ad revenue since its launch in May does bode quite well, at least in relation to the FT itself. That figure comes from the paper’s own deputy chief executive Ben Hughes as revealed at the MediaGuardian Changing Advertising Summit (via paidContent).
Now clearly Apple’s pricey (and luxury) device and the FT do make for a cosy demographic fit, but nevertheless this is ad revenue alone not income garnered from digital subscriptions, with the paper also sitting behind its own paywall.
On that note, according to the report, Hughes told the summit that more than 400,000 subscribers have signed up for the iPad app and that it now accounts for 10% of the paper’s new digital subscriptions. So one in ten new subscribers are touting Apple’s tablet. Interestingly, the FT is also available on Amazon’s Kindle, which only launched properly in the UK as of August (see my thoughts here), so it could be that we see the FT’s subscriptions getting a further boost.
Of course, we’ve known for a while that the consumption of news on touchscreeen ‘slate’ smartphones and now tablets is a good fit. The Guardian’s iPhone app saw 70K downloads in its first month, generating approximately £117,110, while Sky News’ free iPhone app did a million downloads in around 7 months.