Why The New York Times’ niche app strategy is flailing

October 2nd, 2014|

DIGIDAY, Oct 2, 2014 - While NYT Now is struggling to find an audience, it’s clear that the reasons aren’t because it’s a bad app. App Store reviews of NYT Now are almost universally glowing, with users praising the app’s ability to keep them informed with shorter, more digestible news nuggets. Apple even called it one of its best new news apps. “I’m surprised,” said Peter Kreisky, chairman at Kreisky Media Consultancy. “I personally love the product, use it two to three times daily, and cite it in presentations and speeches as a great example of a digital-first product developed primarily for the online-first rather than print-first audience.” For the Times, both NYT Now and NYT Opinion had been core to a digital subscription strategy centered around attracting new readers with cheaper, unbundled products rather than one large omnibus package. The Times is also using its cheaper products to upsell subscribers on its bigger, more expensive ones. The problem is that there’s no indication that the Times apps are actually succeeding in attracting new readership, which means that it’s failing to do the exact thing it was meant to. Kreisky said he had yet to meet NYT Now users who only purchased the $8-a-month subscription.