The Financial Times follows the NLA and plans changes for digital licences

The Financial Times is planning to make changes to the way it sells licences for its products.

Following the NLA: Financial Times
Following the NLA: Financial Times

The newspaper is extending its direct licence to include digital images of FT newspaper articles, which are currently licensed by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA).

The FT is beginning a period of consultation with customers and stakeholders before the change takes effect on 1 July 2010, at which point the NLA will cease issuing new licences for digital FT newspaper clippings.

The change to the NLA's mandate is part of the FT's direct licensing strategy.

The plans follow the introduction of controversial new charges by the NLA earlier this month.

The FT said the move was aimed at helping to build direct relationships with customers and ensure pricing transparency and consistency.

The consolidation of digital licensing will provide FT direct licence holders with unlimited access to FT journalism, including PDFs of Financial Times newspaper articles, via, media monitoring services, press cutting agencies and news aggregation platforms, for one price.

For existing NLA licence holders, the change will happen over the course of 12 months as each NLA licence comes up for renewal. From 1 July 2010, NLA licence holders can continue to access digital pdf images of Financial Times newspaper articles or ‘FT clippings' without an FT direct licence until the end of their current NLA licence.

As each NLA licence comes up for renewal, an organisation will have the option to license directly with the FT for access to FT content, via and/or third party services. After the NLA licence renewal date, an organisation will no longer have access to FT clippings via third party services unless it has signed an FT licence.

The FT also plans to make FT clippings available on on a limited basis for free and on an unlimited basis for subscribers and direct licence holders.

Financial Times managing director of B2B Caspar de Bono said: ‘We are announcing these plans early so that we can discuss how to manage the transition as effectively as possible. Our intention is to bring all digital access rights into one licence.'

He added: ‘We want to ensure transparency of pricing and consistency so that our customers pay once to access Financial Times journalism and the price is independent of the platform used to access.'

The Financial Times' existing corporate customers will see no increase in the cost of their FT licence as long as they do not need to increase the number of licensed users.

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