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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From rotting crops to migrant worker shortages, times are hard down on the farm that Brexit built

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WIRED UK

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Tiny ‘hearing’ device is 100,000 times thinner than your eardrum

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

Finding long-range, low-powered sensors for wearable devices is the next scientific frontier. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are working on atomically thin transducer "drumheads" that can send and receive signals at radio frequencies…
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Fabulous Turn-Based Dungeon Crawler ‘Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times’ Arrives on Android April 11th

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Last fall developer Perchang unleashed a sequel to one of the finest turn-based dungeon crawlers in the App Store with Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times [$ 4.99], and all was right with the world. Well, if you were on iOS that is. Android folks weren’t in on the fun just yet, but Perchang promised some Android love soon and even recruited some beta testers for just that purpose last month. Now here we are about six weeks later and Warhammer Quest 2 for Android is all finished up and ready to release just shy of two weeks from now on April 11th. Perchang has even put together a fancy schmancy new trailer just for this Android release, check it out.

Like the iOS version, Warhammer Quest 2 will cost $ 4.99 on Android and will include a number of DLC options. There are two expansions, The Lord of Khorne and Shadows Under Reikland, which add a ton of content to the game and are priced at $ 4.99 apiece. Then there are six additional Warrior Classes available for purchase at $ 2.99 apiece if you want. None of the DLC is required and the base game will keep you plenty busy, but there’s lots more Warhammer Quest 2 available for those that can’t get enough. Be sure to give our review of Warhammer Quest 2 a read for some more insight and look for the Android release in just a couple of weeks.

TouchArcade

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ARKit-Only Apps Have Been Downloaded Over 13 Million Times In Last Six Months

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When Apple released iOS 11 last year, it highlighted ARKit as one of its core new features. With ARKit, Apple was going to bring augmented reality to the mainstream by allowing developers to integrate it into their apps and games. Since then, data from Sensor Tower shows that ARKit apps have been downloaded over 13 million times by iPhone and iPad owners. Continue reading
iPhone Hacks | #1 iPhone, iPad, iOS Blog
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ARKit apps have been downloaded 13 million times so far

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

iOS users have installed upwards of 13 million augmented reality apps since Apple debuted ARKit back in September, a new report from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence suggests. That’s up from 3 million worldwide one month after iOS 11 was launched. Apps which established themselves early on, including Ikea Place, Giphy World, The Machines, and My […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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Four times people cried ‘aliens’ — and four times they were wrong

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<em>The mummified remains of a fetus that was either stillborn or died shortly after birth. </em>Discovered in Chile’s Atacama Desert in 2003, this tiny, 6-inch-long mummy, with its pointed head and atypical number of ribs, stoked theories that aliens have visited Earth. Scientists have had genetic proof that the remains are human since 2013, and a new genetic analysis reveals that mutations in genes related to growth might explain the mummy’s atypical bones.

The results, which have been making headlines, are a reminder that the truth may well be out there — but it isn’t aliens. A series of discoveries this past year make it clear that, sadly, it never is.

Sad but true

Scientists have struggled to explain why this mummy, known as Ata, is the size of a fetus and yet has bones as developed as those of a six- to eight-year-old child,…

Continue reading…

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Cryptojacking rates increased by 85 times in Q4 2017 as bitcoin prices spiked: report

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Instances of computers hijacked to mine cryptocurrency, a practice known as cryptojacking, rose 8500 percent in the final quarter of 2017, according to a new report by Symantec. The attacks make up 24 percent of all online attacks blocked in last December, and 16 percent of online attacks blocked in the last three months of 2017, correlating with the spikes in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ prices last year.

Symantec report tracks the rise of cryptojacking, and explains that its rise is partly due to easy-to-operate coin minings apps “with a low barrier [to] entry—only requiring a couple lines of code to operate,” which many have picked up as a way of cashing in on the cryptocurrency craze. Overall, cryptojacking rose by 34,000…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

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Google Maps on iOS brings more transit details and restaurant wait times

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

iOS users should download the latest version of Google Maps so they can take advantage of some new transit features. Version 4.47 of Google Maps brings additional details when getting directions via public transit. Rather than highlighting the intersection where an underground train entrance is and expecting you to find it, Google Maps will tell you exactly which entrance you need to go into to take the correct train. For instance, on some New York City Subway lines, the entrance may only serve one direction of the train and a rider may not realize it until they realize the stops are in…

GSMArena.com – Latest articles

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8 Smartphone Accessories to Have in Your Car at All Times

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Bringing technology in our rides has never been easier, thanks to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integrating your phone into your infotainment system. You probably always your phone with you when driving around.

And just like it’s a good idea to keep some emergency items in your car, you should keep some phone accessories in your car too. From the fun to emergency backups, here are eight items everyone should store in their vehicle.

1. Cell Phone Phone Holder

Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Car Air Vent Mount Holder Cradle Compatible with iPhone X 8 8 Plus 7 7 Plus SE 6s 6 Plus 6 5s 5 4s 4 Samsung Galaxy S6 S5 S4 LG Nexus Sony Nokia and More… Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Car Air Vent Mount Holder Cradle Compatible with iPhone X 8 8 Plus 7 7 Plus SE 6s 6 Plus 6 5s 5 4s 4 Samsung Galaxy S6 S5 S4 LG Nexus Sony Nokia and More… Buy Now At Amazon $ 14.99

If you use Android Auto on your phone’s screen, you’ll definitely want the display in clear view. Looking down at your device in your lap to follow directions or change music while you’re driving is dangerous.

Thankfully, you have a variety of phone holders to choose from. We’ve laid out your phone set choices in a separate article. Whether you prefer to mount your phone via a CD holder or vent clip, with a magnetic mount or mechanical one, you’ll find an option for not much money.

2. Car Charger

AUKEY Car Charger, Flush Fit Dual Ports & 4.8A Output for iPhone 7 / 6s / Plus, iPad Pro / Air 2 / mini, Samsung Galaxy Note8 / S8 / S8+ and More – White AUKEY Car Charger, Flush Fit Dual Ports & 4.8A Output for iPhone 7 / 6s / Plus, iPad Pro / Air 2 / mini, Samsung Galaxy Note8 / S8 / S8+ and More – White Buy Now At Amazon $ 10.99

Most modern cars have at least one USB port for you to charge your device or connect it to your infotainment system. But what if you don’t have one, or you want to charge more than one device at once?

That’s why you should have a car charger. These inexpensive devices plug into the cigarette lighter/power outlet in your car and let you charge any device. You’ll find a range of options, from ultra-slim models to hubs that have several ports. Make sure you find one that outputs enough power for the device you want to charge.

Having one in your car makes sure you always have a way to charge your (or a passenger’s) device.

3. Spare Charging Cables

Of course, if you don’t have a charging cable, you can’t plug your device in! You should always keep at least one spare cable for your phone in your car. That way, if your primary one stops working, you can still charge your device.

If you have some extra space, you should also stock different types of cables. If you’re an iPhone user, for instance, keep a micro USB cable and a USB-C cable around. You might never need them, but they could be a lifesaver to friends with a dead battery.

4. Spare Battery Pack

There’s one more item related to charging you should consider keeping in your car. As you’re probably aware, battery backup packs allow you to charge a big battery at home, then carry it around to recharge your devices. Unless you buy a tiny one, you can recharge your phone several times over with these.

While a car charger is great when your car is working, you’ll be out of luck if your car’s battery dies. Thus, adding a battery pack to your emergency kit gives you an extra charge anywhere. As a bonus, many models include extras like flashlights too.

We’ve recommended some great battery backups if you need a recommendation.

5. Bluetooth Radio Transmitter

Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit W 1.44 Inch Display Supports TF/SD Card and USB Car Charger for All Smartphones Audio Players Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit W 1.44 Inch Display Supports TF/SD Card and USB Car Charger for All Smartphones Audio Players Buy Now At Amazon $ 17.99

If you have a newer car, you don’t need this one. But anyone who doesn’t have Bluetooth built into their car should definitely pick up a Bluetooth radio adapter. These devices plug into the lighter/power port in your car, and connect to your phone via Bluetooth. Tune them to an unused radio station, and you can play media from your phone through your car’s speakers.

After you enjoy your favorite music streaming service in the car, you’ll wonder how you ever lived with the radio. The model below has a screen that displays call and song information. It even has a USB port on the front, making charging your device convenient.

6. OBD Device

KOBRA OBD2 Scanner Bluetooth Scan Tool Adapter, Car Code Reader for Android & Windows Devices, OBD Scanner Wirelessly Feeds Your Cars Data To Your Phone! Check Engine Light Eliminator for All Cars! KOBRA OBD2 Scanner Bluetooth Scan Tool Adapter, Car Code Reader for Android & Windows Devices, OBD Scanner Wirelessly Feeds Your Cars Data To Your Phone! Check Engine Light Eliminator for All Cars! Buy Now At Amazon $ 12.95

Every car made since 1996 has an onboard diagnostic port (OBD), usually located somewhere underneath the steering wheel. Mechanics have special devices they can plug into these ports to read all kinds of information about a car, but you can take advantage of them too.

You can buy an inexpensive OBD device, plug it into this port, then connect your phone via Bluetooth. Certain apps can read the information these devices pick up. The handiest feature is displaying codes for check engine lights, but there’s all sorts of other information if you’re interested.

7. Selfie Stick

Mpow Selfie Stick Bluetooth, iSnap X Extendable Monopod with Built-in Bluetooth Remote Shutter for iPhone X/8/8P/7/7P/6s/6P/5S, Galaxy S5/S6/S7/S8, Google, LG V20, Huawei and More(Black) Mpow Selfie Stick Bluetooth, iSnap X Extendable Monopod with Built-in Bluetooth Remote Shutter for iPhone X/8/8P/7/7P/6s/6P/5S, Galaxy S5/S6/S7/S8, Google, LG V20, Huawei and More(Black) Buy Now At Amazon $ 10.79

Everyone’s obsessed with taking selfies. You never know when you’ll need to grab a photo of you and your friends in some wild location, so it pays to keep a selfie stick around.

If you don’t, you’ll have to either designate someone to take your pictures (and thus they won’t be in the photos) or trust a stranger with your phone. Neither of those are worth the few dollars a selfie stick costs, so throw one in your trunk and forget about it until you need it.

Just don’t forget to consider if you should take that selfie.

8. Tripod

Phone tripod, UBeesize Portable and Adjustable Camera Stand Holder with Remote and Universal Clip for iPhone, Android Phone, Camera, Sports Camera GoPro Phone tripod, UBeesize Portable and Adjustable Camera Stand Holder with Remote and Universal Clip for iPhone, Android Phone, Camera, Sports Camera GoPro Buy Now At Amazon $ 13.98

We conclude with another photography accessory. If you’re a fan of taking pictures with your phone, you never know when the right light or moment could lead you to take a photo. Keeping a tripod around will help you get the best shot, no matter how spur-of-the-moment it is.

What Smartphone Accessories Do You Keep in Your Car?

We’ve looked at eight accessories that are great to keep in your car, and they’re all fairly inexpensive. You might not need every one of them, but chances are you’ll appreciate having at least a few of them when you need them.

For more car goodies that aren’t smartphone accessories, check out the best car gadgets.

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

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