Many media organizations have finished debating whether digital information wants to be free and have concluded that a sustainable funding model requires a change in pricing model. The Financial Times has been building a digital subscriptions business for ten years and now has more digital subscribers than print subscribers.

While the FT is sometimes praised today for a successful digital pricing model, the decision to charge was considered Internet heresy in 2001. We went against the flow because investing in high quality journalism and then giving it away in the hope of building an uncommitted, and anonymous advertising audience didn't offer a sustainable business model.

The decision to ask readers to subscribe was not the pivotal decision it appears to be. The real acceleration came after two further pricing decisions in 2007, and it is these decisions and their consequences that will be explored. The first is the idea of conditional free use and demand based pricing. The second is separating information from the software used to distribute it and granting multi-platform rights for one price.

Attendees will learn:

  • The necessity of a direct customer relationship in pricing decisions
  • How to transition from free to paid for services through demand based pricing
  • Ideas for licensing and pricing digital products in a weightless world


Making the Invisible Visible

Caspar de Bono, Managing Director B2B, Financial Times Ltd

Caspar joined the Financial Times Ltd. (London) in 1995. He has worked across the Financial Times group in a variety of roles including product development, marketing, strategy and publishing.

He became Managing Director of Financial Times Business (FTB) in March 2004 and a board member of the FT, following the merger of FTB in January 2007. As a board director of the Financial Times he is responsible for the licensing of rights to access or syndicate FT content.

Caspar has an MBA from London Business School and a degree in Psychology from Oxford University.