New York Times Revenue Strategies Worth Watching

May 10, 2013

The New York Times recently announced new strategies for growth to be implemented in the final quarter of 2013. Why is this relevant to a B2B publisher, or even a B2C publisher, one might ask? We know that certain tactics in digital publishing work across genres and we also know that digital publishing completely changed the game: jobs once done by circulation specialists are now done by editorial and business staff; advertisers now generate content of their own.  It’s important to look at how the big players in publishing are navigating the landscape and what is working for them. 

As it turns out, The Times is implementing strategies that do apply to B2B as well as B2C Publishers.

Gated and Tiered Content Offerings

The New York Times already uses a paywall, but they are diversifying that paywall to reach a broader audience by providing different kinds of access at different price points:

  • They start by offering a lower-priced product that will allow access to the most important and popular stories in a convenient, media-rich package.
  • Meanwhile, they are developing new products, also offered at a lower price, to provide deeper access to additional, specific content in areas like politics, technology, opinion, arts and food.
  • But, they will also offer an enhanced tier to “all digital access” and print subscribers for extras at a higher price that could include Times Events, Gift Subscriptions and All Family Access.

Product Diversification

The New York Times is building on its international reputation for quality content, to expand digital subscriptions to a more international audience. They are working to implement international marketing, pricing and payment practices to foster this strategy.

But The Times doesn’t plan to stop with subscription growth.  They are looking into additional products that include games, eCommerce and video capabilities, as well as a growing conference business. 

It’s likely they know that employing a robust SaaS publishing platform will not only make these types of integrations possible, it will make them easier and more seamless.

Leveraging Deep Audience Data

How has The Times come up with these tactics?  Chances are, they’ve used a bit of deep data to track audience activity and consumer preferences. They stated that the aforementioned lower-priced access package came directly from research that suggests strong demand for an efficient way for readers to stay informed.

B2B and B2C publishers can use similar data to gather information about subscribers that will enable them to determine what kinds of products are in demand, as well as provide advertisers with lead generation information that goes beyond basic contact info to include purchase history and content preferences.

Like most publishers in the online world, The New York Times is taking its content to another level. How they go about it and what works for them provides a great test case for everyone else. Let’s watch and learn.