FT Strategies Scheme For Publishers Set To Expand

The Financial Times and Google have committed to significantly expand the FT Strategies programme that supports publishers in their business and digital transformation.

Over the next three years, the programme – part of the Google News Initiative publisher programmes and run by the FT’s consultancy FT Strategies – will work with more than 500 publishers in 50 countries to deliver sustainable growth strategies, the FT said

UK local news publishers have participated through the News Media Association which supports the scheme.  

Areas of focus include reader revenue, products and technology, data and audience engagement and diversity with content tailored for a range of organisations, from smaller, local publishers in the early stages of their digital journey to more established publishers with national and international audiences.

FT chief executive John Ridding said: “Our experience at the FT in the past decade has shown that quality journalism can be a quality, digital growth business. At a time when the world needs sustainable, trusted journalism and access to news more than ever, I’m delighted that this programme, delivered in partnership with Google, will share that insight and expertise with many more publishers around the world.”

Google managing director, global news programmes and ecosystem Olivia Ma said: “The Google News Initiative is focused on empowering publishers to drive sustainable change in news. Our partnership with FT Strategies is one of the ways we continue to deliver inspiring programmes that help establish a solid foundation for digital transformation and support the future of news.”

FT Strategies managing director Tara Lajumoke said: “The pandemic’s impact on both international and local publishers has been profound. Audiences relied on quality news sources for information and adopted new, digital consumption habits. This increased competition for readers, made the need to transition to become digital-first more acute and highlighted the importance of capturing first party data to drive profitability.

“A ‘K-shaped’ recovery in the industry has meant that some well-financed, digital-first news organisations have benefited, but print-reliant outlets struggling to make the transition have been put at greater risk. As the FT’s consultancy, we know that a winning strategy that includes a reader revenue model and digital transformation can deliver sustainable growth. We are thrilled that this partnership will provide hundreds of publishers with the insights, tools and support they need to sustain their businesses and mission.”