Financial Times website celebrates 20-year anniversary with free 24 hour trial

The Financial Times is dropping its paywall for 24 hours to mark the 20th anniversary of its website.

The free access promotion began at midnight today (9 September) and is part of a wider ongoing initiative focused on reach, reader engagement, and digital subscriptions.

The first phase of the three-part campaign was designed to drive readers to through a targeted digital promotion on social media channels. The free access is the second stage and has seen the FT’s paid for subscription access, first introduced eight years ago, dropped for 24 hours to allow new readers to sample exclusive content.

The final stage of the drive will then offer subscriptions to new users in the hope that they have been won over during the free trial period.

The campaign will run on desktop, mobile and digital out of home in financial districts in the US and UK and include placements within well-known office buildings.

Jon Slade, managing director for B2C operations at Financial Times said the publisher wanted to “create an opportunity for as large an audience as possible to sample and engage with” the Financial Time’s journalism.

To create the strategy FT partnered with digital agency Essence.

Will Frappell, Essence's head of investment said that “sccessfully reaching an audience of young professionals in their busy, multi-device everyday lives takes unrivalled insight and planning,” and that the latest work would “push what’s possible on mobile, desktop and out of home advertising.”

Since the FT introduced its business model to focus on paid digital trials its digital subscriptions have increased 14 per cent year on year to almost 520,000, and now represent more than 70 per cent of the FT’s total paying audience.

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