The Financial Times isn't content with its iPad and newly-released Galaxy Tab apps; it wants more imagination from its staff about how tablets might shape the future of news consumption. The paper has announced it will be subsidizing employees' purchase of "a personal iPad or tablet," giving them up to £300/$480 toward the cost of a slate.
"We need to fully understand their potential and share the user experience to better understand our customers and the developments and innovations taking place in the market" an internal FT memo from CEO John Ridding told staff. "Tablet devices will also facilitate working while travelling," he continues, "which is an increasing feature of our global organisation."
The FT Group currently has around 1,800 employees, seemingly all of whom will be eligible for the subsidy - even if they already have a tablet. However, it'll also be classed as taxable income, which may mean staff have to shell out a little more of their own money than first assumed.
"I’m pleased to let you know that we are launching today a new initiative that will allow FT staff to claim a £300 (€350/ US$480) subsidy for the purchase of a personal iPad or tablet. This will run from today until 30th June 2011.
The FT is making this investment because digital channels and tablet devices are becoming increasingly important for us and the media industry in general, and as recognition of your contribution to our strong performance this year.
“The FT has set the pace among global media organisations for tablet editions, winning a prestigious award from Apple for our iPad app. We have also been a launch partner with Samsung on the Galaxy Tab.
“We have seen rapid growth in readership on these new devices, which support and extend our “channel neutral” strategy. Given their importance and the wave of innovation that we are seeing in applications and services, we want to encourage all our staff to be expert and experienced in using them.
“We need to fully understand their potential and share the user experience to better understand our customers and the developments and innovations taking place in the market. Tablet devices will also facilitate working while travelling, which is an increasing feature of our global organisation.
“The subsidy scheme will be combined with a series of masterclasses and workshops to help staff get the most from their devices and the applications that are currently available."