Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NYT reports 454K digital subs; tightens free offer

In another sign that its year-old digital subscription strategy is working, the New York Times Co. said today that it is cutting the number of free monthly articles available to readers on NYT.com by half, to 10 per month, starting next month.

The company also said that it now has 454,000 paid subscribers to its various digital subscriptions, e-readers and replica editions of its flagship New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, according to a news release. That is up from 390,000 at the end of the fourth quarter, regulatory filings show.

The reduction in free articles is a bullish sign because it shows the NYT Co. thinks readers will be willing to pay for more access.

The company's latest numbers come as Gannett is rolling out its own paid digital subscription plan across its 80 U.S. community dailies. The plan, which varies in price by site, includes access to new smartphone and tablet apps, and is expected to generate $100 million in net additional earnings by 2013. 


  1. Simple choice for me. The NYT content is must read, so I am a digital subscriber.
    Big-G papers have been cut to shreds that I am not willing to pay a cent for any of them.

  2. Gannett can't pull those numbers....no way, no how.

    But they can sure try.....the latest scam is to give the employees a common login, then have them peruse a few articles/day, while sharing them on FB. The employee's FB friends then click the link on their newsfeed, which of course brings them to the paywall sign-in screen.

  3. If ANY Gannett paper had content comparable to the NYT, a lot of people in that area might subscribe. But none do, so they won't.

  4. With a few exceptions, the Times hires the cream of the crop, the best of the journalistic litter, and pays them a commensurate amount. Gannett hires from the bottom of the barrel and pays them as little as possible. That is the most fundamental explanation for the difference in the quality of their content.

  5. I'll echo what 1:38 p.m. said. NYT's content is absolutely worth the digital subscription cost. The fact that they're cutting the number of free articles can only mean good things, and I hope they continue to make even more money off their model. It can only mean good things for the industry.

    On the flip side, our local Gannett paper just switched to an online subscription model. It's something like $14 a month ... but the content is so lackluster and often so poorly executed (this coming from a former newsroom employee whose old chair is not yet cold) that I'm honestly not sure I'd pay even $5 a month for it. The value is just not there.

    I'd advise Gannett brass to take note, but I'd just be wasting my efforts.


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