In April, the New York Times shared its new strategies for growth, which included paywall and product diversification. If you are at all skeptical as to the merit of their approach, it doesn’t hurt to look at how the digital strategies they’ve already implemented are working for them.
A recent Monday Note makes a compelling comparison between the New York Times and The Washington Post—and it provides some telling numbers that include a daily circulation decrease of nearly 30% for The Post since 2007, as opposed to a daily circulation increase of nearly 70% for The Times during the same timeframe.
The primary difference in strategy? A metered paywall. NY Times has recruited 676,000 digital subscribers with the metered system and their subscriber base is only growing. While print advertising continues to decline and digital advertising increases only slightly, NY Times has successfully used marketing, deep data and pricing techniques to build revenue, instead, through their paywall.
Such a comparison of these two legacy papers not only makes the case for metering, it also shows the value of supporting superior content with a savvier strategy. The Post is still a lean, mean prize-winning news machine and while its working to adapt to digital publishing, the publication’s numbers hint at a need for the kind of strategic shift exemplified by the New York Times.