The New York Times today announced plans to shut down its NYT Opinion app because the app is “not attracting enough subscribers.”
The news, announced alongside job cuts in the Times’s newsroom, comes four months after the Opinion app first launched to significant media attention. As TechCrunch noted when the app first launched, this was the paper’s “first attempt at distilling a particular vertical section into a standalone, paid service.” The Times originally charged users $7 per month to access the full version of the Opinion app.
The Times also shared today that its NYT Now app, which offers select major news stories for a fee of $8 per month, “had not proved as popular as they had hoped.” Low interest in the paper’s premium apps apparently prompted the company to release the NYT Cooking app for free. Two weeks after it launched, the Times says, “the product had more than a million unique visitors.” This, of course, does not inspire confidence in the Times’ latest premium content initiatives.
The NYT Opinion app briefly ranked among the top #100 iOS apps in the U.S. shortly after it launched, according to app tracking site App Annie. Within two weeks the app dropped off the overall top charts. The NYT Now app, however, appears to have performed better in terms of total downloads but still ranks below competing news reading apps like Flipboard and CNN.
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