At SXSW last Saturday, the New York Times were showcasing a ‘soon-to-be released’ subscription mobile application that is going to cost $8 per month. The app is called ‘NYT Now’ and it will provide readers with a specially crated feed of news stories entailing blurbs of key points, thereby allowing readers to scroll down without tapping. This gives readers an idea of the most current and important news.
The new app has not been designed for current readers of the NYT. This app is meant to attract a new audience, the mobile-first reader. By admitting this, it becomes clear that the strength of its age-old product alone is not going to be enough to counteract the growth of mobile media consumption. Executive editor, Jill Abramson said, “I really believe that we will be, and I hate to use the word addicting, but addict a whole new audience to the New York Times.”
The NYT would not release any visuals of the new app at the conference, but reporters were given a sneak peek. Apparently the app opens into a large picture feed with headlines, which are followed by mobile-specific briefs written by dedicated app editors. Abramson said that a team of 10-15 editors had come together to work specifically on the new app.
By commissioning a team of editors to work solely on the app, executives have shown they are focussing exclusively on a mobile product. That investment along with the pricing structure of this subscription, which is half as much as the full $15 per month digital subscription, will position ‘NYT Now’ as a standalone product. Interesting to note, if you are an existing subscriber you will be able to use the new app at no extra cost.
Subscribers to the service will be able to save stories on the app to read later. Any story available through NYT Now will be available to subscribers online. However if you are a NYT Now user, you will not have full access to all of NYTimes.com.
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