Financial Times CEO John Ridding explains how to make people pay for media

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Financial Times CEO John Ridding

Techies pooh-poohed online subscriptions a decade ago. My, how things have changed.

When the Financial Times began putting its online content behind a paywall, John Ridding recalls that reactions in the tech world ranged from skeptical to “pretty hostile.” After all, the conventional wisdom of the time went, “the internet wants to be free.”

“Which I always thought was kind of weird and a little ridiculous because, clearly, the internet doesn’t want anything,” Ridding said on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “It’s a channel.”

Now the CEO of the FT is feeling vindicated: Subscriptions to online reporting from the Nikkei-owned London-based business newspaper start at $ 350 per year, and readers are buying. Ridding said two-thirds of the FT’s 900,000 subscribers are digital customers, and subscriptions have overtaken advertising as the chief source of the company’s revenue, also representing about two-thirds of the total.

“A lot of the industry was too quick to dismiss the ability to charge for content. My view is that if you have something that differentiates you, something that makes you special — it could be a brand identity, it could be a columnist, it could be a sector of coverage — you have the ability to charge.”

“If you don’t have anything that is any way different or special, you’ve got some bigger questions to ask,” he added. “What are you doing?”

You can listen to Recode Media on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

On the new podcast, Ridding talked about the resistance the FT had faced from some of the big tech platforms that were intent on distributing content for free, noting that now he hopes they might start to be “more helpful, in terms of subscription model development.” One of the big fights was with Google, which used to insist that readers clicking on a link in search results should get the “first click free” — meaning they would be guaranteed to not see a paywall right away.

“We felt all along that the throttle, the terms of access, should be down to the publisher,” Ridding said. “There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, and Google came to accept that position.”

He also discussed how the FT’s own thinking has changed over time. Rather than giving readers a certain number of free articles per month — the “metered” business model practiced by the New York Times, the Washington Post and Wired, among others — it has shifted in recent years to just give them unfettered access for free for the first month.

“We thought, what do we really want to do?,” Ridding recalled. “We really want to achieve the habit in digital that people used to have in print. A metered model kind of goes against that because you’re, by definition, rationing … Ideally, you spend a month with the FT, you get to appreciate it, you become a subscriber.”

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, also hosted by Kara Swisher, answers all of the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, such as the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on Apple Podcasts — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Peter. Tune in next Thursday for another episode of Recode Media!

Recode – All

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Samsung explains how it brought Super Slo-mo to the Galaxy S9

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Samsung releases a blog post today offering more insight on how the phone maker was able to put 960fps Super Slo-mo into the Galaxy S9 and what difference it has over the Galaxy Note8’s camera to make it possible. First off, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ can record 960 frames in 0.2 seconds. This is stretched out to playback over six seconds and is 30 times slower than normal video recording. Samsung also threw in GIF exporting, reverse, and swing options to share your creations. Of course, the issue that Samsung faced was that modern CMOS sensors capture light sequentially,…

GSMArena.com – Latest articles

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[Update: More details] OnePlus confirms the OnePlus 6 will have a notch, explains the reasoning behind it

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

As evidenced by the comments on yesterday’s post about the OnePlus 6 leak, you guys don’t like notches at all. Unfortunately, leaked photos had already revealed that OnePlus was at least seriously considering adding one to the OnePlus 6, and the company itself has now confirmed it.

Read More

[Update: More details] OnePlus confirms the OnePlus 6 will have a notch, explains the reasoning behind it was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

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OnePlus Credits Apple For Notch, Software Gestures, Explains Why Android Phones With Notch Have Chins While iPhone X Doesn’t

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OnePlus co-founder, while talking about OnePlus 6 design, has credited Apple of sorts for notch design, software gestures and has also explained why Android phones with notch have chins while iPhone X doesn’t.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Redmond Pie

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OnePlus confirms the OnePlus 6 will have a notch, explains the reasoning behind it

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

As evidenced by the comments on yesterday’s post about the OnePlus 6 leak, you guys don’t like notches at all. Unfortunately, leaked photos had already revealed that OnePlus was at least seriously considering adding one to the OnePlus 6, and the company itself has now confirmed it. Carl Pei, OnePlus’s cofounder, spoke with The Verge to explain why the decision was made to add one.

As many other manufacturers with notches have said, OnePlus justifies the notch as adding more screen real estate, not taking anything away.

Read More

OnePlus confirms the OnePlus 6 will have a notch, explains the reasoning behind it was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

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Ex-Apple engineer explains wide Google location data warrant by NC police

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Article Image

The automatic collection of user location data from smartphones by tech companies, and the ability of law enforcement to access it via warrants will be discussed in Friday’s AppleInsider podcast, with criminal defense attorney and former Apple engineer T. Greg Doucette explaining how a recent report into the requests by Raleigh, N.C. police came about in the first place.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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Report explains how Apple will avoid the problem that plagued last year’s iPhone X release

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

iPhone X 2018 Release Date

Apple released three distinct iPhone models last fall, which was a first in its iPhone history. The iPhone X, however, was delayed by more than a month due to supply constraints — also a first for Apple. Now, a new report says Apple plans to launch this year’s iPhone X successors right on schedule, and it’s taking special steps in order to avoid delays.

That’s why Apple is supposedly kicking off a trial production run for its new iPhone lineup as soon as the second quarter of 2018, according to data obtained by Digitimes. Apple wants to equip all three 2018 iPhones with 3D-sensing front cameras, which is why the company is going for an early production run. It’s the TrueDepth camera components that held iPhone X production behind last year, according to reports, since some of the parts were more difficult to manufacture.

Digitimes’ sources say iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X sales have been lower than expected, and Apple is looking to “rekindle its smartphone momentum” by ensuring the 2018 iPhone launch is not affected by any production delays. Digitimes says that Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup includes two OLED models with 5.85-inch and 6.45-inch displays, and one 6.1-inch LCD model.

Component makers should see revenues move upward in the second quarter if Apple is to be able to deliver the new phones early in the third quarter, Digitimes says.

Apple traditionally unveils new iPhones in mid-September every year, which is when preorders start. By the end of September, preorders are delivered and sales kick off at Apple and partner stores. Last year, the iPhone X went up for preorder in late October, and didn’t hit store shelves until November 3rd. The iPhone 8 series, meanwhile, launched right on schedule.

Apple – BGR

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‘The Room: Old Sins’ developer explains delay in Android release

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The Room: Old Sins released on iOS back in January. The preceding three entries in the acclaimed creepy puzzler series are all available on Android, but Old Sins, so far, is nowhere to be found. Developer Fireproof Games says the Android version is coming, but it might take a while.

In a blog post, Fireproof says Old Sins is technically up and running on Android, but that “having the game running on a couple of devices in the office, and having something that we can release on Google Play are very different things.” Bugs small and major discovered after the game’s initial iOS release and the wide variety of Android devices are the main culprits in the delay, the post says: Fireproof’s last game, The Room Three, is available on nearly 14,000 different devices, and each individual device can present its own difficulties.

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‘The Room: Old Sins’ developer explains delay in Android release was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

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Whistleblower explains how Cambridge Analytica ‘exploited’ Facebook

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Last night Facebook announced bans against Cambridge Analytica, its parent company and several individuals for allegedly sharing and keeping data that they had promised to delete. This data reportedly included information siphoned from hundreds of th…
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