FT iPad app hits 400,000 downloads

FT Editor, Lionel Barber

Those who think the iPad and apps in general are just vanity products would have done well to listen to the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning. The iPad is far from a vanity product, it’s also a key way of making revenue.

The FT’s Editor Lionel Barber speaking on the Today programme said that the FT’s iPad app had over 400,000 downloads, and that it was responsible for a 10% lift in the FT.

400,000 apps downloaded for a paper that sells just 376,000 copies in the UK and was down by 5% in August 2010 is quite phenomenal. Particularly considering the FT isn’t really pushing the apps. We had to go to Google to find the app on the FT site – It’s here if you need it http://apps.ft.com/ipad/.

Additionally while this is a free app (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/financial-times-ipad-edition/id370723705?mt=8) it’s also one that doesn’t work without a subscription, although there was an initial free period until the 31 July 2010, but full marks to the FT for marketing ingenuity.  It’s also making new markets for them, back in July FT’s chief executive, John Ridding said that the iPad app had been downloaded at least 250,000 in the US, and while the paper has good overseas sales 250,000 potential new sales can’t be sniffed at.

As his co-interviewee from the Washington Post said this is the best time to be working in journalism not the worst.

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