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By Penny Crossland


The FT's mobile strategy sees continued success with its popular HTML5 app winning an award at the recent Mobile World Congress. Also, new to the FT's digital initiative is its "live news desk" providing users with breaking news in the financial and business worlds.


The FT’s mobile strategy appears to be going from strength to strength. One of the publishing industry’s digital pioneers, the FT launched its HTML5 app in June 2011 – as reported by Nancy Davis Kho here – and was awarded for its efforts at last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The app, which features an automatic update facility and allows users to read news offline, won the "Best Mobile Innovation for Publishing” category and was particularly applauded for its approach to providing a single access point for its various digital channels. Apart from winning awards, the app is also popular with FT readers. The blog reported that the web app boasts 1.7 million registered users, up from 1 million in November last year.

The paper’s strategy is, of course, to drive more readers online, as commented on here on LiveWire a little while ago, and this plan will be further boosted by another digital initiative announced last week. Editors Weblog alerted us to the launch of the FT’s “live news desk”, which is intended to publish financial and business news stories as they develop via blogs and Twitter.

The idea is to provide users with breaking news while the seasoned editors work on writing and analysing articles for the paper. The FT is fortunate in that its niche subject matter lends itself particularly well to this kind of approach and, what’s more, users are willing to pay for it.

I can’t think of a better way to attract and retain news hungry online readers; in fact one might wonder what took the paper so long? According to, the paper has been working on the live news project for quite some time, but the launch was hampered by the endless news surrounding the phone hacking scandal in the UK. In the end it was decided that the story was not going to die down any time soon, so the launch might as well go ahead.


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Penny Crossland is the owner of CH Business Research, a consultancy specialising in investigative research and market intelligence. Penny conducts research projects for clients from a variety of industry sectors, including financial services, management and security consultancy, FMCG, publishing and retail. Fluent in German, she also translates academic papers and corporate material.

Before establishing her business in 2001, Penny was Research Manager at OC&C Strategy Consultants in London. Penny graduated from Bristol University with a degree in German and Politics and has a Masters degree from London University in contemporary German Literature. She became interested in all aspects of business information through working for an industrial market research company in New York.

Penny can be reached at

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