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."