There’s been a lot of buzz about the leaked NYT digital innovation report. And there should be. The New York Times has long been an evolving publishing model to watch and learn from. The report is hefty, and there are numerous gems to help guide you in your strategy—but one lesson underlies it all: learning how to think digital is the key to success. The report is also valuable because it is candid: The Times acknowledges that it is falling behind in reaching readers with what is arguably the broadest and most engaging reporting in the world.
The takeaways? There's an art and a science to getting content to readers. It’s not always obvious and it’s definitely a process, but we must always be thinking creatively and striving to understand the mindset behind digital content consumption, so that we can be efficient and responsive to a rapidly shifting landscape.
Let’s look at a few points highlighting the Times' renewed focus:
Make Audience Development a Core Competency
Reaching your digital audience has as much to do with how your content is packaged and distributed as the content itself. The Times is being overtaken by competitors who succeed because of reach; their ability to engage readers through social, search and community-building channels. To move forward, publishers need to reevaluate traditional processes:
Twinkies not peaches: stories have a longer shelf life.
The Power of Data
There are numerous highlights and lessons in this report. We'll share more in Part II of this post.