The New York Times is to offer potential new subscribers a notable perk as it looks to grow its online readership.
From today, the Times will offer a one-year Spotify Premium subscription to U.S. residents who aren’t currently subscribers to either service — for $5 per week. The offer applies to the Times’ All Access subscription, which normally costs $6.25 per week ($325 per year). But what’s interesting here is that once the year’s special offer is up, Spotify will still be included as part of the Times’ normal weekly subscription cost.
So in short, with this offer you’ll pay $260 for the first year, then it’ll switch to the full price of $325 for a year. For comparison, if you were to take out a full-price All Access subscription and Spotify Premium subscription separately, it would cost $445 for the year.
This is a very good deal. However, given that it’s only open to new New York Times subscribers and excludes those who already have a Spotify Premium membership, it could cause a minor outcry among existing users.
In terms of how long this special offer is open for, the Times is keeping its options open. “The New York Times and Spotify are approaching this as a special, limited-time offer; however, we may extend the offer based on demand,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat.
Spotify has been investing heavily in ways to acquire and retain subscribers, and has hitherto resisted calls from within the music industry to ditch its free ad-supported tier — Spotify argues that by getting people on the free tier, it’s better positioned to get people signed up on a monthly subscription. But it has also been exploring other conduits to get paying members signed up.
Back in November, Spotify acquired Preact, a startup that specializes in helping companies acquire and retain subscribers. “Finding the trends and behavior patterns in our data that correlate with paid subscriptions is incredibly valuable,” said Jason Richman, VP of product at Spotify, in a statement at the time. “The addition of Preact to Spotify’s team will help us design experiences that grow our premium customer base.”
Preact’s power lies in its customer-behavior prediction smarts around subscription sign-ups and upgrades, using behavioral science, machine learning, and analytics. It’s not entirely clear whether such technology is being used in conjunction with the New York Times, but today’s news certainly fits in with Spotify’s broader mission to increase its stickiness and garner more signups.
As of its latest figures, Spotify claims 40 million paying subscribers — an increase of 10 million over half a year — out of a total user base of around 100 million users.