The New York Times’s efforts to capture younger readers is hitting a few speed bumps.

Yesterday, amid the news that it plans to cut 100 jobs from its newsroom, the Times said that it was pulling the plug on NYT Opinion, the $5.99-a-month opinion app it introduced in June. It also said that NYT Now, its mobile news app, wasn’t exactly catching on with the millennial audience it was chasing.

“NYT Now is a terrific app and has struck a chord with younger users, many of them entirely new to The Times,” Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger and CEO Mark Thompson co-wrote in a memo to the newsroom (read the full memo below). “However our effort to define and market a lower-priced subscription offer on the Web and core apps has proven much less successful.”

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.”

On top of that, the Times’ focus on niche apps followed in the footsteps of massive social networks, like Facebook, which were unbundling their apps to solve specific use cases. The thinking went, why not news?

Still, despite the promise and positive reviews of NYT users, something isn’t clicking. Core to its problem, as with most things involving the media business today, is pricing. NYT Now runs for $8, or $96 a year, which is a hard sell for the price-conscious millennial readership that the Times is chasing.

“That price is a challenge for any publication, be it an app or a website or a print paper,” said Noah Chestnut, product lead for BuzzFeed’s news app. “Figuring out how to sell the most subscriptions at that price range will take more than a few months.”

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.

“I think NYT Now failed to find a discrete, Times-loving, willing-to-pay audience, apart from its core subscribers,” said Ken Doctor, media analyst for Outsell.

In other words, while the Times may be marketing NYT Now to the hip younger generation, its actual readership is closer to the very people already reading the newspaper every day.

Doctor also pointed to some product design questions within the app, which underscore the disconnect between NYT Now and the rest of the Times subscription products. For example, users who subscribe only to NYT Now get access to only a subset of hand-selected Times stories, which it marks with a green diamond next to article headlines. That complicated the reader experience and makes it less likely that readers will sign up and stick around.

The other possibility may be harder for the Times and other publishers to swallow: Mobile readers might not need another news app. Most mobile news readers get their news from social media and their mobile browsers, not news apps, according to a recent study from Pew Research.

Beyond just NYT Now, there’s a lot of competition in the overall app ecosystem, which rewards app incumbents over app newcomers. ComScore recently found that 60 percent of people often go weeks without downloading any new apps, showing just how hard it is for any new entrant to break through.

Still, struggles aside, it’s still far too early to call NYT Now a failure. “They learned best practices from the paywall, but it takes time to test different ways to sell subscriptions, especially to a new product genre like a news app,” Chesnut said.