Financial Times Web App More Popular Than Native iOS App

Thursday September 22, 2011 11:51 AM PDT by Jordan Golson
The Financial Times reports its web app, launched this past June, has more readers than the version sold on the App Store, which has since been removed.

The web app has more than 700,000 readers according to Reuters. The FT chose to develop an HTML5 app rather than a native iOS app because Apple takes a 30% cut of subscription revenue made through the App Store, and refuses to hand over all the personal data on customers who subscribe to publications -- data which is worth a lot of money to publishers.
FT.com Managing Director Rob Grimshaw told Reuters that the new Web-based app was drawing more traffic than the version that was sold through the App Store.

"People who are using the app are spending much more time with the content," he said. "They are consuming about three times as many pages through the app as they are through the desktop in an average visit."

The FT's Web-based mobile app accounts for 15 percent of FT.com subscriptions and 20 percent of total FT.com page views from mobile users, Grimshaw said.
The FT said that it was having no difficulty driving users to the mobile app, saying a simple message on the top of the FT's website has successfully driven traffic to the HTML5 app. "The world outside the App Store is not cold and desperate. Discovery is no problem at all."

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Posted: 41 months ago

Site hits does not equal app downloads. That doesn't mean it's not impressive and doesn't have strong value to have a web app versus a native one, especially if you disagree with Apple's rules, but it's not a one-to-one comparison.


Doesn't matter

"spending much more time with the content," he said. "They are consuming about three times as many pages through the app as they are through the desktop in an average visit."

Is the key part.

More time + More page views = higher advertising costs.

Advertisers love sites with longer views and increase readership.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
I'm not buying that unless they are talking about gross hits or those who went to check out the site once. FT has some pretty creepy paywall policies which I found out with the app. Your "ten free articles per month" end up being zero. It always said I had used up my ten. Unless you subscribe to the print version at $250/yr and then to the online version for a further $350, you get nothing. Subscribing binds the user into a perpetual renewal contract unless canceled well in advance of the anniversary date at which time you lose any remaining time on the subscription. With FT being unable to count to 10, I opted for The Economist which offers free, full access with a print subscription. Those who can afford $600 per year for the FT are welcome to it.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
Wonder if other news papers will follow suit? Such as the times.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago

The Financial Times reports its web app, launched this past June (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/07/financial-times-wont-give-apple-a-cut-drops-ios-for-web-app/), has more readers than the version sold on the App Store, which has since been removed (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/30/apple-kills-financial-times-app-for-in-app-subscription-non-compliance/).


:confused:

In other news, Ford outselling Pontiac which has since been discontinued.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago



Well I actually canceled my subscription because they were pushing this web app idea so hard. I take the train to work every day where I only have a very slow to partly non-existent Internet connection. So I used to download the ft before leaving and read it on the train. Not possible anymore. Thanks FT. And I am sure I ain't the only one who feels that way.


It is still possible, the web app downloads in exactly the same way for offline reading. That's exactly what I do before getting on a train or plane.

I was sceptical about the web app when they first announced it, but I think it's works excellently and kudos to them producing something so seamless out with the app store.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
Site hits does not equal app downloads. That doesn't mean it's not impressive and doesn't have strong value to have a web app versus a native one, especially if you disagree with Apple's rules, but it's not a one-to-one comparison.
Rating: 0 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago

and refuses to hand over all the personal data on customers who subscribe to publications -- data which is worth a lot of money to publishers.


Gee, this sounds like the number one reason to get all my subscriptions thru the app store. Less junk mail!!
Rating: 0 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
I am a paid FT subscriber..i love the native appp. But FT has been agressively pushing all the users to switch to the webapp to avoid paying future revenues to Apple. The main issue is that webapp is cache dependent. If you like to keep logged in, you cannot register your cookies etc. once you do so, you need to relog in with the webapp version. IOS 5 is coming with a private browse function that is clearing cache often, Which will force webapp users to relog in eachtime they use the webapp given they ios' private browse option is on.

Main reason FT webapp is more popular is only due to FTs aggressive force on native app users each time they use the app. It bugs to hell out of me to be promted that there is a webapp for FT, 5 times a day.
Rating: 0 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
Native iOS app would be better of course, but I agree with publishers that Apple's 30% cut is too much, and I support publishers on this. And by the way, usually publishers have received personal info from subscribers, so why suddenly everyone is against it?
Rating: 0 Votes
Posted: 41 months ago
The web makes news very very affordable now a days.
Rating: 0 Votes

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