BEFORE LAUNCHHere’s what our critics were saying: • “New York Times Paywall: Wishful Thinking or Just Crazy?” • “5 Reasons Why The New York Times Paywall Will Fail (And Why It’s Really Dumb)” • “The New York Times Paywall Business Model Is Doomed”
AFTER LAUNCHHere’s what they’re saying now:“In my wildest dreams when they rolled this out a year ago, I didn’t think they’dbe at over 450,000 subscribers a year later. The execution, the threading theneedle between free and restricted access and harvesting of its huge uniquevisitor number has been pretty flawless.”Douglas Arthur, Evercore PartnersOn the one-year anniversary of the NYT digital subscription business
WHERE WE ARE TODAY• More than 500,000 digital-only paid subscribers.• Retention rates for print subscribers have improved.• The New York Times Media Group has had revenue growth for five quarters since starting the digital subscription plan.• It’s been a huge, emotional lift for employees.• Only modest reductions in unique visitors and pageviews on NYTimes.com.
#1BE CLEAR ON YOUR GOALS. What are you trying to accomplish? Expanded subscriptions? Protecting print subscriptions and economics? Giving consumers access on multiple devices? Increasing revenue? Our goal: To develop a significant paid-digital subscription plan because our content warrants it and the business needs it.
#2ALIGN THE WHOLE ORGANIZATIONBEHIND THE EFFORT. Touches every aspect of the business: Technology, marketing, analytics, finance, editorial, advertising, design, etc. Your customers expect a wonderful experience and you have to unite to deliver it. We put almost everything else on hold for 18 months to make sure we got it right.
#3YOUR READERS KNOW BEST. Customers tell you what they want. Are you listening? The Times did extensive research on reader needs, usability testing on the product, price and offer testing and made A/B testing a core competency.
#4THINK (AND ACT) LIKE ADIGITAL RETAILER. Groupon Deals Flipboard collaboration Apple Newsstand Gateway to 10 release iTunes MEU conversions integration Cyber Monday promotion Web access for Kindle users Constantly innovate in product enhancements and marketing initiatives Global pay model launch Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012
OUR GOAL NOW Optimize for earnings, not singularly focused on subscription volume: •Digital subscription revenue •Print subscription revenue •Digital advertising revenue
WHAT’S NEXT? Continue driving rapid growth of the digital subscription business Introduce next generation paid products Develop an even deeper understanding of our consumers and prospects Improve user experience to better serve existing subscribers