April 15, 2015 Last Updated 8:09 am

NYT Now to free May 11; Capital rebranded as POLITICO New York

The low cost mobile app goes free May 11 and, the company says, is part of ‘an ambitious plan to transform into a nimble, mobile-focused organization’

The New York Times Co. today announced that it would convert its NYT Now mobile app from paid to free beginning on May 11. The move comes as the Times finds it can only chop up its brand and content so much and have readers buy it.

NYTNow-iPhone-380NYT Now has been the low-end mobile buy, charging $7.99 per month for readers to access (with those already subscribing to the NYT getting access to the app free of charge). But the Times found that the demand for the app was minimal, at least in comparison to its website and main iPhone app.

“The Times is carrying out an ambitious plan to transform into a nimble, mobile-focused organization that can respond with greater speed, agility and urgency to the needs of readers who are seeking out Times journalism on smartphones,” the Times said in its announcement.

“On May 11, NYT Now will relaunch as a free product with new features that will make it an even better way for a younger, mobile-first audience to get up to speed on the news quickly. Current NYT Now subscribers will be granted access to all New York Times digital content on web and smartphone at the same rate of $8 every four weeks.”

The NYT also promoted its Apple Watch features for its iPhone app, which will go live on April 24 when Apple launches the smartwatch. The NYT is branding the features The Times on Apple Watch which is a bit silly since the app is still the same iPhone app, but now with watch functions added in. But whatever.

The rumor that NYT Now would go free was first reported by Capital NY which had a bit of news themselves today.

“Capital will be rebranded and relaunched as POLITICO New York as part of an expansion at its Beltway-based parent company, which is gearing up to roll out new satellite publications across the U.S. and Europe,” Joe Pompeo, senior reporter at Capital, wrote today on the media outlet’s website.

POLITICO acquired Capital in 2013 as part of its expansion plans.

“We have decided all expansion will take place under the POLITICO banner in the states and overseas,” chief executive Jim VandeHei wrote in a memo today. “We will have lots of outposts but all will fall under one name.”

POLITICO Europe, which is a partnership with Axel Springer, will launch on April 21, the company reported.

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