The Financial Times is in talks to revolutionise the online news culture by introducing a ‘pay-per-article’system inspired by the Apple iTunes store model.
Senior sources told the Independent the paper is in discussions with a number of payment facilities companies to establish a simple ‘one-click’system to allow users to easily pay a small fee for each article.
Executives hope to have the system in place by next year by which time Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers will begin to charge for online content, with the Sunday Times expected to be the testbed for the payment revolution.
The FT currently uses a subscription system, known as Mocking Bird, that allows users access to ten stories a month for free after which various levels of registration are needed up to total access to the site, which can cost £155.48 for a year’s access.
John Ridding, the chief executive of the Financial Times, told the Independent he hoped adopting a pay-per-article model would encourage some of the site’s 1.3 million users to start paying for access to additional pieces without having to subscribe.
Ridding said: ‘There is tremendous potential there. It needs to be frictionless, people don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to go through a laborious transaction process for one article [but] I think there’s potential there for monetising a whole new layer of traffic and readers.”