“Print will be around longer than the desktop,” said New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. last week.
His audience was a group of media professionals at a Media Minds breakfast meeting, according to Michael Sebastian of Advertising Age, and he was speaking about the desktop’s continued decline in favor of mobile devices.
Like other publishers that are embracing the new realities of content revenue, “More than half of Times revenue now comes from the circulation side of the business, with a strong assist from digital subs, as advertising revenue continue to fall,” says Sebastian.
In light of this, it makes sense that the publisher is working hard to create mobile apps and less expensive digital subscription products, as well as specialty niche apps.
“The company recently said it will roll out a less expensive subscription product called NYT Now, which will have less content and cost about half as much — $8 a month — than a full-access Times’ digital subscription,” says Sebastian.
Like other publishers, the New York Times is realizing that ad revenues have shrunk, and will likely continue to do so. In order to stay viable, publishers must cater more to their actual readers, creating content that is compelling enough for them to purchase.
Interestingly, the Times seems to think it can also help close some revenue holes by launching native advertising, saying their readers “want more than banner ads.” While we are skeptical about native advertising in general, and especially programmatic technology for native content, we’ll take a “wait and see” on this part of the story.
For now, the renewed focus on readers and what they want is an encouraging sign in publishing, and we’ll be interested to see how the New York Times embraces their new reality.