The Financial Times says its audio audience in the U.S. has grown 137% since February 2020, compared to a 36% increase worldwide during the same period. That has the financial newspaper drawing up plans to roll out more podcasts.
“Audio is an important part of the FT’s expansion plans in the U.S.,” said Peter Spiegel, the FT’s U.S. Managing Editor. “Our American audio audience has grown nearly four times as much as our global audience so we’re ramping up our podcast efforts to meet the demand,” he said.
The Financial Times’ latest release is a weekly podcast about the future of work. Hosted by FT’s work and career editor Isabel Berwick, the show titled Working It will cover the big ideas and emerging trends shaping the workplace today, from the gig economy and side hustles to corporate wellness and hybrid working. FT says the series will feature expert analysis and water-cooler chat with its journalists as well as innovators and industry leaders to help listeners make sense of the new world of work as we emerge from the pandemic.
New episodes of Working It will be published each Wednesday.
The FT developed Working It in response to it reader survey data that revealed concerns about the future of work. “We found a sweet spot with Working It. We matched the content our audience is interested in with the format they want more of,” said Renée Kaplan, the FT’s Head of Digital Editorial Development.
The 2021 FT Reader Survey highlights ongoing concerns about uncertainties in the workplace post-pandemic. The top three concerns in the survey include the worry that women who chose remote work may pay a career penalty as old habits of presenteeism reassert themselves.
There is also plenty of concern about how the pandemic has allowed the working day to expand beyond the traditional office hours. And FT says younger workers are also worried that senior staff will be reluctant to return to the office, leaving them without guidance and unable to build contacts and social capital. Among the younger readers who responded, the 31 to 40-year-olds agreed most strongly that this would hurt their careers.
The U.K.-based publisher announced in July that it planned to expand deeper into the U.S. market by opening new bureaus in Houston and Hollywood to focus on the energy and entertainment industries. It told Digiday at the time that U.S. readership typically makes up a quarter to a third of FT.com’s audience. The FT has about 1.1 million global print and digital subscribers, about a third of which are in the U.S.