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The New York Times announced today that it’s adopting a new growth strategy that involves offering customers lower pricing to access its content.
The move comes as the company reported some pretty weak Q1 2013 earnings that saw its advertising (both digital and print) decline by 11.2 percent year-over-year. The publication saw its lowest rate of digital subscription growth (5.6 percent) since implementing a mixed freemium/paywall content business model. The publication currently has 676,000 digital subscribers, who pay $200 -$495 per year for access.
Most of the industry keeps a very close eye on the NYT’s digital subscription rate because it could present a new way for news publications to pay the bills given that it’s becoming increasingly hard to rely solely on advertising income.
As for a growth strategy, the company plans to offer its most popular content under a less expensive subscription plan and potentially let customers subscribe to specific sections at a lower price. The NYT is also planning to add a more expensive subscription plan that gives readers deeper access to the publication in both digital and print forms.
Additionally, the company said it sees an opportunity for growth in “brand extensions” — in other words, sponsored or endorsed content, products, or services.
Photo via New York Times