Financial Times To Fold Paid Online News Service Tilt
FT spokesperson: “Tilt’s revenues were not where we hoped they would be.”
The Financial Times will close FT Tilt, a premium online financial news and analysis service for finance professionals in emerging markets, at the end of October.
"We propose to close FT Tilt at the end of October," an FT spokesperson told FOLIO:. "While the FT is keen to support new innovations and will continue to do so, Tilt’s revenues were not where we hoped they would be and we have to make a hard headed business decision on its future. We’ll be getting in touch with readers in the coming days to offer a reimbursement and other FT services for those interested." The spokesperson would not reveal subscriber numbers.
"This might not quite be what you were expecting in your Tilt@Six email this morning, but we have some news: the FT has decided to close FT Tilt, effective immediately," FT says in a note to subscribers. "To our subscribers, thank you for your willingness to support innovative, online-only journalism. We will be getting in touch directly, as you will be entitled to a full refund."
Tilt launched in January, led by managing director Tom Brammar and editor-in-chief Paul Murphy, who also helped launched FT.com’s Alphaville blog and live finance chat. The service featured a network of writers in regional bureaus around the world offering a "conversational" approach with Tilt Populi, a community area where approved members could share commentary; Tilt Pro, a subscription-only area offering news and analysis; an enhanced search and filtering system; and FT Temp, which offered a sentiment score gauging whether a piece of news was positive or negative for the community.
It’s a rare product failure for The Financial Times, one of the media brands taking the lead with paid digital content. In August, the company announced a 34 percent increase in digital subscriptions, up to 230,000 in the first half of 2011, while registered users increased by 49 percent to 3.7 million. Currently, registered users can sign up and get 10 articles for free a month, though payment is required for further access.
"In the first half of 2011, digital and services accounted for 46 percent of FT Group revenues and content revenues accounted for 57 percent," a news release from the group says. "The FT Group achieved good sales and profit growth in turbulent markets in the first half of 2011 and invested in a significant number of new product launches."