The paper fits the model most believe is necessary to earn subscription revenue digitally: It sits atop high-quality and specific content not easily emulated elsewhere. It's hardly fair to call economic news a niche, but FT.com at least corrals a good vein.
The Times piece suggests others are looking at ways to use the FT model. It will introduce a micropayment system shortly to supplement its subscription service. It wants to capture the large audience arriving from search engines but keep the overall service accessible.