Despite circulation slump, the FT claims it now reaches 2.2m people globally on a daily basis
Although the Financial Times circulation was down 16.53% year-on-year to 319,757 in the ABC figures for January, there are no alarm bells ringing at the Pink 'Un.
For as media pundit Roy Greenslade explains in his blog in The Guardian, the FT claims it now reaches 2.2m people across the world on a daily basis.
This figure, says Greenslade, is based on the latest Average Daily Global Audience (ADGA) figures - a metric devised by the FT's own research department in 2009, and independently verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers rather than the ABC.
Greenslade reports that the ADGA statistics reveal that the number of people accessing the FT's online site every day has surpassed 900,000 - a 36% year-on-year increase.
The paper has also seen a sharp rise in mobile users, with increases of 66% on smart phones and 71% on tablets over the last six months.
The number of people who read FT content on two or more platforms every day has risen to over 300,000 - or 14% of the total audience.
Anita Hague, the FT's global research director, is quoted as saying: "FT readers are comfortably moving between platforms to access our content... this means that advertisers who run a cross-channel campaign are maximising their reach."
Of the FT’s headline circulation of 319,757 last month, the ABC breaks down the paid-for circulation as being 70,478 in the UK and Ireland with 220,023 overseas sales.
However, former editor of The Guardian, Peter Preston, does not take such a sanguine view of the FT’s financial prospects as its owners.
In his media column in The Observer yesterday, Preston points out: “Over in the world of plump and pink, there's the FT – at £2.50 per weekday and £3 on Saturday, prices rammed up through 2011 as the joys of digital subscription revenue seemed to burgeon.
“But what has that meant in an era of huge importance for financial news? Year-on-year sales down 16.53%, and 4.2% on December, the worst result anywhere. Over 50,000 foreign copies have gone missing in 12 months.
“Well, of course, that's one result of online transition. You're throwing away dead trees and reaching for very live wires – 900,000 a day via FT.com.
“Yet, as the rumour mill suddenly starts to churn over the FT's future once Dame Marjorie Scardino, its valiant defender at Pearson, retires, you can also see cause for thought.
“Thomson Reuters or Bloomberg might like the FT as a trophy to front their own financial services, it's said. The strength of the brand may be worth a great deal.
“But doesn't that brand rather signify words on paper? Lord Thomson and Michael Bloomberg can do words on screen by the million. If they're bidding, it will be for something they haven't got, not a transition too far.