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New York Times to refine subscription model in wake of sliding ad revenue

Zachary Lutz
04.25.13
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If you're an avid reader of The New York Times, you're probably already familiar with its complex subscription model that ranges in price between $15 and $35 per month. Yes, it's sometimes costly to stay in the loop, but on the upside of the paywall, company CEO Mark Thompson says that readers will soon find a wider array of content packages, including less expensive options. The move may be necessary, and according to Bloomberg, the CEO painted it as "the single most important thing we're doing in the company." Today, The New York Times released its earnings for the quarter, which came in slightly below expectations and revealed a decrease in advertising revenue. Recognizing the shift, Thompson will work to make the organization less reliant on ad revenue and more focused on digital subscriptions.

As for its growth strategy, it's said that we can expect lower pricing tiers that offer access to specific content such as politics, technology and the arts, along with premium tiers that provide feature content and access to events. Curiously, videos and even games will be in the mix, but it's currently unclear where that'll fit into the tiered strategy. The New York Times currently serves 708,000 subscribers, which represents a 45 percent increase from the first quarter of 2012. It's said that we can expect the refined subscription model to arrive sometime in late 2013 or early 2014, and it'll be very interesting to see just how complex the outlet can go with its pricing.

[Image credit: Adam Kinney / Flickr]

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