March 5, 2014 Last Updated 8:38 am

NYT set to offer lower priced digital news products

The New York Times will try and reach readers unwilling to pony up for a full digital subscription by offering lower priced products in the coming months. Speaking in London, Denise Warren, executive vice president, digital products and services, said the Times had identified a target audience beyond its 760,000 paying digital customers who may be reached with less costly apps and subscription programs.

NYT-web-front“NYT Now is the first of those products and will cost approximately $8 a month,” Linda Zebian, manager of corporate communications, told in an email.

NYT Now is described as a “mobile-first” product, which does not necessarily mean a recommitment to apps. Despite being one of the first newspapers to launch their own iPhone, and then iPad, apps, the NYT has been largely missing from the app stores. Today there are three iPad apps from the NYT and no new English language app launched since 2012 (the latest app launched is for Chinese language readers).

The news of new lower priced subscription options signals a willingness to move beyond its core news product, but also possibly an admission that the dependence on digital subscriptions for full access to the NYT may have reached its limits. The NYT is often held up as a successful example of the implementation of paywalls, but the paper’s total revenue fell last year even as circulation revenue grew. Ad revenue in 2013 was down 11.6 percent from 2011, the last year that ad revenue was a larger share of total revenue than paid circulation.

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