Digital Innovation for New York Times
and the Newspaper Industry
Assignment 1 Marketing Strategy
By: Eric Li
Trouble for Newspaper Publishers:
For centuries, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and many newspaper
publishers held great reputation on delivering news to the great public. However, during the
recession of 2009, may newspaper publishers are in trouble. It cannot compete with timely
coverage of news on the internet or on TV. One of the most profitable incomes, the classified ads,
were replaced by on-line marketplaces such as Craigslist and ebay. Chicago tribute just
announced they will discontinue selling full-size newspapers in newsstands and will sell tabloid-
size papers. 1 May of them announced mass layoffs due to financial crisis.
Value propositions and customer experience for Newspapers:
Newspapers has two customers: Readers and advertisers. The real value of new publishers is not
printing the news and delivering the paper to the doorsteps. It is providing quality news timely
and accurately to readers, and a platform for businesses to advertise effectively. Newspaper
delivered to the doorsteps comes with stacks of printed ads and coupons but 90% of them go
directly to the trash because they cannot target segmented customers. One of the major value
these papers providing to readers are high quality of editorial content, some of them hold social or
political opinions which the readers enjoys. A lot of newspaper subscribers enjoys reading
newspapers on the breakfast table with their morning cups of coffee, but those may also watch
CNN news on TV too. Most urban 9-to-5 office workers have access to the internet during
working hours, but few may grab a newspaper on the newsstand and enjoy it during lunch break.
Many elders not comfortable using the internet still rely on printed newspaper as a major source
of information. With trend of digitized media, traditional newspaper publishers must change their
vehicles of information delivery.
Digital Media Done by newspaper publishers:
Newspaper publishers already did several initiatives trying to catch up with the trend of
information digitization. All of them maintained a web site for users to get access to the contents
free of charge through computers or smart phones. NY times, WSJ and many provide Podcast
services so users can listen to or watch the contents through their ipod or iphone. Amazon Kindle
users can also see electronic version of newspaper through their Kindle e-book. (exhibit 1).
However, newspaper is still loosing its edge because it’s hard to differentiate from web news
source and its keep loosing subscribers and advertisement revenues.
Print on Demand Kiosk, with customized coupon printing
NY times should replace the newsstands in urban areas with Kiosks that prints newspapers on
demand. ( similar to pictures on Exhibit 2) These can offer elders and whoever feel
comfortable reading news on the paper the same format and experience of traditional newspaper
reading. Customers can pay by credit card (which contains customer information), or coins to
print newspapers in these kiosks. NY Times subscribers carrying a scannable keychain card can
print papers free of charge. The beauty of customized print-on-demand newspaper is, although
the news contents are exactly the same, the advertisement next to the news contents can be
tailored to the readers based on their age, gender, profession and social status. In addition to
newspapers, coupons of local stores are also printed. Since kiosks are highly localized, and
customer data can be identified, local business in walking distances will be willing to pay for
advertisements. The screen of these kiosks will also play advertisements for local businesses
when the kiosks are not in use.
New Interface: Coffee Table Digital Display:
No people want to sit in front of computer screen to watch their morning newspapers while
having breakfast. If we can have newspaper display on the table, the subscribers can read the
news displayed on the table while enjoying morning cup of coffee. Surface computer is a
technology initiated by Microsoft. It is a coffee table-like computer with multi-touch functions.
MS Surface can allow multiple users to perform some fancy multi-media tasks and transfer digital
contents2. NY Times can work with Microsoft to display their papers through the MS Surface
system. In addition to text content, readers can also choose the multi-media content if they click
on the picture or the charts embedded.
Value Curve before and after New Services Offerings:
More information about Microsoft Surface: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/
Exhibit 1 NY Times subscription on Kindle (already offered)
Exhibit 2 Print-on-Demand Kiosk, also prints local coupons target to subscribers
Exhibit 3 Digital paper display on a coffee table similar to MS Surface