The Financial Times is going full steam ahead with its digital subscription service for smartphones and tablet devices. But the London-based financial newspaper decided to boycott Apple’s app store for iPhone and iPad users. The newspaper, already boasting about 600,000 paying subscribers, launched a HTML5 Web-based app that runs from a user’s browser. The paper is apparently performing an “end-run” around Apple’s soon to be implemented policy of grabbing from publishers, 30 percent of the profits of native in-store app subscriptions. The Financial Times chief executive John Ridding is hailing the new iOS Web app, as faster and easier than a native app, adding it offers subscribers “the best possible experience of FT journalism.”
FT unveiled the new browser-based app with a sweetener offering new users a free week of unrestricted access to its financial news reporting and videos.
The new FT Web app is customized for iOS portable devices, but the newspaper says it plans to soon make the service available to other smartphones and tablets, including Android and Blackberry devices.
The FT Web app does not require a download, offers offline reading, automatic updates and video for iPhone users. Once you access the website hosting the new app, you need only add a FT bookmark to your device homepage, to enjoy the full benefits of the mobile subscription service. Registered users can access up to 10 articles per month, without paying a fee.
The promotional video suggests FT is moving in a different direction than the one proscribed by Apple’s iTunes service.
“The FT app is moving. Rather than going to the app store simply visit app.ft.com on your browser or iPad. With no download you can start reading FT and quickly add it to your Home screen,” says the voice over in the slick video.
The video goes on to say, “The app is quicker. You can now read more content and watch our award-winning video on iPhone as well as iPad.”
And on its promotional website, FT is encouraging its readers “to switch immediately” to the new browser app to unlock the full potential of of its many features and future upgrades.
You get the distinct feeling, FT is enjoying the poke in the eye its delivering to Apple with its new Web app for iOS devices. Will other publishers follow the lead of FT and find ways to avoid paying Apple a 30 percent cut? You can watch the promotional video here.:
What do you think? Have you tried the FT app on your iOS device?
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