113316 ft logoThe 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."

Top Rated Comments

samcraig Avatar
165 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johncrab Avatar
165 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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
byke Avatar
165 months ago
Wonder if other news papers will follow suit? Such as the times.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shotts56 Avatar
165 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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dhrlove Avatar
165 months ago
If cloud computing is the future, then web apps are the futer as well.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Laird Knox Avatar
165 months ago
The Financial Times reports its web app, launched this past June (https://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 (https://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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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