FT’s Rob Grimshaw Talks Mobile Growth

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I’ve been a little down on newspapers so far, and I mean to change that tone because many news outlets are getting it right. Case in point, the Financial Times. FT has effectively embraced a multimedia model and released their first iPad app in 2010. A huge success, the app received 20,000 downloads in the first weekend. Not bad when you realize that number was their target for the first year. In 2011, the company released the HTML5 app, another huge success, itself resulting in 3.3 million users. Reading the tea leaves, so to speak, Managing Director of FT.com, Rob Grimshaw sees the switch to mobile accelerating. Via MediaWeek UK:

“My best guess is that mobile will be the lead channel for delivery within three to four years,” he says. “Who knows, that could turn out to be conservative, this is moving at such speed.”

“I think it would be complacent to say that we are ready for a change on such a scale. This is a really big deal. I think the switch to mobile is bigger in magnitude than the switch from print to desktop, in terms of what it means for the way people consume content, and it’s happening faster.

Of course, when you have access to reader’s iPhones and iPads, you have access to data–who’s reading and when–and the info is being collected in increasing sophisticated ways, and helping advertisers use the information more effectively. However, competing in the big digital pool means competing with bigger fish–the likes of which Google and Facebook are good examples. Grimshaw sites both as being “smart and sophisticated” with their data.

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