The Financial Times (FT), that UK-based financial newspaper printed on distinctive salmon-colored paper, is serious about the future of media on tablets like the iPad. FT launched a free iPad app back in May that has been an success story for the paper, with 400,000 subscribers paying for full content as of October, 2010.
iPad users are accounting for 10% of new digital subscriptions, and the FT has pulled in over £1 million in ad revenues since the launch.The FT app received one of the prestigious Apple Design Awards at WWDC 2010.
Just to show how serious the FT is about the iPad and the future of digital media, FT Group CEO John RIdding today announced that all 1,800 staff members will receive a £300 / US$480 rebate against the purchase of an iPad or similar other tablet. That adds up to a bill of about £540,000 or $864,000 for the company.
What's the reason for the bonus, which will be active through June 30, 2011? Ridding said that it's partly because as a reward for the strong performance of the organization over the last year, and that the company wants to "encourage all our staff to be expert and experienced in using..." tablets.
That's not all, though. The FT is also offering a series of master classes and workshops designed to help employees get the most from their use of the iPad.
It's a fascinating announcement, and we wonder if other media giants embracing the iPad will follow suit.
Correction from the Financial Times: There have been over 400,000 downloads of the iPad application since launch, driving 10 percent of digital subscriptions. FT digital subscribers reached 189,022 as of October, up 50% since the beginning of the year.