Tag Archives: Financial Times

FT ramps up video output with new TV studio

The Financial Times is to significantly increase the amount of video news it carries on its website after unveiling new TV studios at its London headquarters. The new facility comprises a studio with four remote-control cameras and a state-of-the-art editing suite which will help the Pearson-owned publication increase its multimedia output. The FT currently produces 180 pieces of video a month to run online and also uses video supplied through a content sharing agreement with business news broadcaster CNBC. At the studio’s official opening last night FT editor Lionel Barber said: “Video is becoming a really big part of our editorial operation. We now work seamlessly across print, online, podcasts and video. “All of our journalists have now undertaken dedicated video training and I think we are getting better and better at it. They are getting more confident and understand that it is part of their job.” Barber said that the FT’s video operation is now a profitable part of the business – and he said that the new studio, with its eye-catching City of London backdrop, would be rented out to other broadcasters to provide another revenue stream.


Google to Give Governments Street View Data

Google is bowing to the demands of three European governments and says it will begin surrendering the data it improperly collected over unsecured wireless networks

Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, told The Financial Times in an interview in London that within the next two days, the company would share the data with regulators in Germany, Spain and France. The data is thought to include fragments of personal information like e-mail and bank account numbers. Google had previously resisted requests from European officials and privacy advocates to hand over the data, saying it needed time to review legal issues. Last month, Google revealed it had been inadvertently collecting 600 gigabytes of personal data, saying that the roving, camera-mounted cars in its Street View program had collected not only photographs of neighborhoods but snippets of private information from people whose personal Wi-Fi networks were left unencrypted. In Thursday’s interview, Mr. Schmidt said that the software code responsible for the data collection was in “clear violation” of Google’s rules. Mr. Schmidt also said that Google would make public the results of internal and external audits of its Wi-Fi data collection practices.


Google bans Microsoft Windows on office computers

Google will no longer allow staff to use Windows on their machines because of security fears, according to reports

Google is phasing out the use of Microsoft‘s Windows operating systems on its company computers because of ongoing concerns about security, the Financial Times reports.

Google staff will instead be asked to use Apple’s OS X operating system, or an open-source Linux platform, as the search giant tries to close the security loopholes that made it possible for Chinese hackers to gain access to email accounts. Security experts believe the hackers exploited a loophole in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser to hack in to the Gmail accounts of human rights activists and Chinese dissidents.

“We’re not doing any more Windows,” one Google employee told the FT. “It’s a security effort.” Another said staff had been “moved away from Windows PCs. following the China hacking attacks”.

Google, which employees around 10,000 people worldwide, is already encouraging new joiners to opt for Linux or OS X. “Linux is open source and we feel good about it,” another member of staff told the FT. “Microsoft, we don’t feel so good about.”

Google has not commented specifically on the rumours. “We’re always working to improve the efficiency of our business, but we do not comment on specific operational matters,” said the company in a statement.

Microsoft has also refused to comment on the speculation.

Those members of staff who wish to continue using Windows on their machine will need clearance from “quite senior levels”, according to the FT, but employees would have been more upset if Google had banned Macs running OS X rather than PCs running Windows.

The move highlights a growing tension between Google and Microsoft, which are competing in an increasing number of areas. Google is launching its own computer operating system, Chrome OS, to go head-to-head with Windows, while Google and Microsoft both have their own mobile operating systems. The recent launch of Microsoft’s Bing search engine was an attempt to claw back some market share from Google, while both companies offer free web-based email and instant-messaging services.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that Linux and Mac OS X are more secure than Windows, but I do think it’s reasonable to claim that they’re safer because of the much smaller number of attacks that target the platforms,” said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with security specialists Sophos. “It’s a bit like deciding where to go on holiday – Baghdad or Bournemouth? You can come to a sticky end in either, but I know where I would rather be to reduce my chances.

“Furthermore, with Google Chrome OS around the corner, this could be the first step towards Google proving that an enterprise company can survive without much dependency on Microsoft at all.”


FT becomes first major publisher to withdraw from ABC e-audit

The Financial Times has become the first national newspaper to withdraw from the monthly online audit conducted by Audit Bureau of Circulations. The move away from the independent ABCe audit comes amid increasing scepticism and discord over the metrics currently available to advertisers and their agencies for online magazine and newspaper brands.

Last month, News International took the controversial step of withholding its monthly ABCe figures for its entire portfolio ahead of Times Online erecting a paywall next month. But despite the move, News International “continues to work with ABCe” as members, under the proviso that its sites must be publicly certified at least once within the next year, as stipulated by JICWEBS – the UK committee that defines the auditor’s standards.

The move by News International had already raised concerns about the future role and viability of ABCe, an organisation built on transparency and accountability since 1997.  The decision now by Pearson to completely pull out of ABCe membership could result in a complete review of the current auditing process in the UK. An FT spokesperson said: “The FT no longer participates in ABCes as volume traffic measures have become less relevant to our advertisers and clients. We do not intend to compete on volume, rather the quality of our registered and subscriber readership.”  

The announcement comes in the same month the business newspaper launched its own audience measurement system, called the estimated Average Daily Global Audience (ADGA). Conducted with independent assurance from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the model measures the number of people globally who, on an average day, read FT journalism in print and online. ADGA uses a combination of sources including syndicated national and regional readership surveys, unique user and browser data, FT research based on large samples of its reader/user base as well as ABC circulation figures.

Duplicated consumption is also removed in an attempt to more accurately track numbers of actual people as opposed to computers.
Anita Hague, global research director at the FT, is convinced the new measurement offers advertisers a new way to better understand and quantify audience in a multi-platform environment, and hopes it will be adopted by other media owners.

“We are happy to make the methodology available to any other interested party,” she said. “It responds to the demands of media partners seeking more comprehensive and relevant audience analysis.”  The new system and its claim of greater accountability already has the backing of James Jennings, joint managing director of WPP media agency Maxus.

He said: “On and offline can no longer be treated as silos or disparate disciplines. The FT’s recognition of this need, with a clear and transparent approach, should be seen as an important step forward, as well as a sign of confidence in their continuing ability to deliver the right audience across multiple touchpoints.” Ben Hughes, deputy chief executive of the Financial Times, called it a “ground-breaking move”, adding: “It’s the first time that a single measure has been developed that takes into account a global digital and online audience.

“Traditional measurements (ABCs and readership surveys) focus on one or the other and are not consistent across the globe. It’s the quality of our registered and subscriber readership that matters to our advertisers, rather than volume.”  Hughes also reveals the FT is also developing an audited global paid-for circulation number, which counts everyone who pays to consume FT content.

Richard Foan, managing director of ABCe, said: “Innovation in digital continues apace. Almost 300 companies are now part of ABCe and the delivery of industry approved standards for digital measurement. “These globally applied standards are already used by Nielsen, comScore, Google, Omniture, Webtrends, Nedstats and many other analytics providers of course. “These standards were first delivered in 1997 and have been regularly reviewed and evolved ever since, to ensure they continue to be relevant to our industry as it evolves”


FT ad revenue growing again

Pearson, the publishing group that owns the Financial Times, has reported a 7 percent increase in revenues in the first quarter, helped by “volatile” but growing ad revenue at its newspaper operation. Pearson, which owns Penguin books and a share of the Economist and is a major education publisher, said that revenues were up 12 percent on a constant currency basis to GBP 1.08bn. FT Publishing, the division that owns the Financial Times, has seen strong demand for subscriptions in print and online and “return to growth” in advertising revenues contribute to a “good first quarter”. Like pretty much all media owners, Pearson suffered “sharp declines” in ad revenues in 2009. Pearson said that all parts of the company had made a “good start” to 2010 with trading in line with expectations and an expectation of underlying profit growth this year


Lessons for Toyota from the past – Tylenol 1982


 Look at how Johnson & Johnson handled Tylenol in 1982 – people died it was a public relations/crisis management nightmare the company should have planned for but did not. Just like Toyota. 

OK, it was a different pre-internet, pre-social media age – and ‘speed’ of message is more damaging and can wound a large corporate beast in hours. However, it reinforces the values of openess, moving quickly to put measures in place to mediate the problem. Frankness, responsiveness and dedication to get it right not on one day but over time paid off for Johnson & Johnson. The reputation of the company actually ROSE as a result of this horrific incident thanks to the vigorous and proactive way they responded.  And the explaining did not stop a few weeks later – presentations on the issue went on for several months if not years – so that valuable lessons could be shared and learnt. Each and every car company is the ‘potential next victim’ and Toyota should consider sharing the lessons learnt with the whole industry. If one company is hit – they are all hit – hence they should all learn from the Toyota mistakes.

All these Johnson & Johnson values, seen in the Tylenol Case, (included in how they responded) remain no different today and should be simply adapted for the new channels of communications that deliver them. Then a team was rapidly put in place to lead the turnaround and it was handed the powers it needed to do so. Let’s see Toyota do the same. 

Unwind the public strands of criticism that are hurting the company – they will across a wide series of areas. Deal with them publicly at the highest level.

Address the criticism in each stakeholder area – the motor trade, the business press, the consumer press – put in place open and honest solutions that a worried public can buy into. Open up and listen – build social media mechanisms to allow input and lessons from the angry and their fear and upset to flow into the organisation. Let it help drive change further up the product development and customer service chain. Incentivise honesty. Don’t shut down criticism – embrace it. You’ll shock those making the attacks – and encourage them to turn from hostility to working with you to find ways of product and service improvement.

Over-service in fixing the problem might be a good start. This is where the re-sellers and the dealers at the bottom end of the customer facing chain have to play their part. If they don’t – shake out the flaky ones publicly after the problem is sorted out – the customer will respect Toyota if it does.

Set out to turn this corporate reputation nightmare into a major opportunity to win back trust.  Hidden inside every crisis is a huge opportunity and it is up to Toyota to do so. Mere platitudes from a few friendly newspapers like the FT is not a way to win friends and influence people. Trying to protray the idea that The President of Toyota apologised ‘so let’s forgive them’ is a nonsense – I cannot believe the FT publicised such total twaddle. It is time for Toyota to show humility and prove that it has learnt big time from this experience by making each of its customers feel as if they are at the centre of the Toyota world as they repair the damage, worry and concern they have caused them.

Pearson, Nokia form English teaching JV in China

Publishing group Pearson and phone maker Nokia have formed a joint venture to deliver English-language learning materials to mobile phone users in China, the two companies said on Monday. China, which has more English learners than in any other country, is playing an increasingly important role for Pearson, which owns the world’s largest education publishing business as well as the Financial Times and Penguin books. Last year, it bought Wall Street English for USD 145m in cash, giving it a leading position in China’s English-language teaching market. The new joint venture, named Beijing Mobiledu Technologies, builds on a service that Nokia launched in 2007, providing content from a variety of publishers, which so far has about 20 million subscribers and 1.5 million active users each month. Customers can access the content through an application preloaded on new Nokia handsets, or by visiting the service’s mobile website. Mobile phones are crucial for access to information in China, which has at least 720 million mobile subscribers, double the amount of Internet users it has. Nokia, the world’s biggest handset maker, sold almost 18 million phones in China last quarter, 36 percent more than a year earlier


New York Times Finally Decides To Add Online Paywall, Announcement In Weeks

The ‘metered’ model allows a visitor to come to the site and get a certain amount of articles for free. After the visitor uses up his allotment, then he’s asked to pay for more access.

This decision has been a long time in the making, but the upper management finally decided to pull the trigger. The paywall will be announced in weeks, and it will take effect in a few months.

New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of sometimes fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system.

One personal friend of Sulzberger said a final decision could come within days, and a senior newsroom source agreed, adding that the plan could be announced in a matter of weeks. (Apple’s tablet computer is rumored to launch on January 27, and sources speculate that Sulzberger will strike a content partnership for the new device, which could dovetail with the paid strategy.) It will likely be months before the Times actually begins to charge for content, perhaps sometime this spring. Executive Editor Bill Keller declined to comment. Times spokesperson Diane McNulty said: “We’ll announce a decision when we believe that we have crafted the best possible business approach. No details till then.”


European rights court rules to protect press sources

Five media companies won a ruling at the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday recognising the right of journalists to protect anonymous sources. Four British daily newspapers – the Financial Times (FT), the Independent, the Guardian and the Times – and Reuters news agency appealed to Strasbourg after British courts ordered them to hand over documents to Belgian brewing firm Interbrew. The documents would have allowed Interbrew to identify the source of a leak to the press about a planned takeover bid for South African Breweries (SAB). The Strasbourg judges ruled unanimously that the order to hand over the documents amounted to a violation of the media companies’ right to freedom of expression, under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In its judgment, the court stressed the “chilling effect” of journalists being seen to help in the identification of anonymous sources.


Financial Times puts archive online – Subscribers to get access to 120 years of FT pages

The Financial Times has made its complete archive available online to subscribers interested in finding out how the paper has covered almost 120 years of business, politics and international affairs. Educational publisher Cengage Learning has digitised the FT’s archive of about 790,000 pages from its foundation in 1888 to the end of 2006. That means all articles can be searched individually for their content as well as being viewable in the context of the page and issue where they appeared, alongside adverts and market listings. The archive, being launched today at the Online Information Show at Olympia, west London, will become available for subscription or one-off purchase to all academic, public and government libraries in mid-January, with revenues from the venture to be shared between the FT and Cengage. Private subscriptions are not yet available, although the past five years of the FT’s archive are already available through its website to paying subscribers. This digital resource will be annually updated, with 2007 likely to come on stream at the end of next year. The FT is the third major UK news publication whose archive Cengage has digitised for library subscriptions, after the Times and the Economist. Where libraries subscribe to all three archives, readers will be able to search them together for similar stories