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With in-article chat bots, BBC is experimenting with new ways to introduce readers to complex topics
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Jan. 22, 2018, 11:35 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: aboutus.ft.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   January 22, 2018

The Financial Times is giving 16- to 19-year-olds enrolled in high schools around the world free access to FT.com, the company announced Monday, extending a program that had previously been available to students in the U.K.

“We hope to emulate the success of the U.K. schools initiative which has resulted in over 1,400 secondary schools and colleges and over 13,000 students gaining free access to FT content,” Caspar de Bono, the FT’s B2B managing director, said in a statement.

The process isn’t automatic. High schools can register their interest here and will be contacted with more details. The program is aimed specifically at high schools where the oldest students are 19; “If an education institution has a mix of ages above and below 19, then please contact us, as we can offer mixed solutions — where the under 19’s gain free access and there are discounted education rates for the over 19 population,” according to the FAQ.

A hope is that introducing people to a brand at a relatively young age will make them into paying subscribers later. The New York Times has a sponsor-a-subscription program (the FT’s is sponsored by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ) that invites readers to pay to give public school students digital access to NYTimes.com; “for every subscription granted through the program, The Times will provide a subscription to one additional student.” As of last September, the Times said that more than 2 million students in all 50 states were getting free access to NYTimes.com. (The company calculated that each individual student subscription costs between $2 and $4 to provide, depending on whether the subscription is used only in-school or also allows home access.)

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