New York Times Co. announces ‘new strategy for growth’

The New York Times Co. | The New York Times Co. | The New York Times

The New York Times Co. unveiled “a series of strategic initiatives” Thursday morning concurrent with its first-quarter earnings report.

Among the planned initiatives are the next phase in The Times’s digital subscription/paid products strategy; an international expansion under the new unified brand; and a renewed emphasis on both video production and brand extensions.

Among the new products, to be introduced at the end of this year and the start of 2014: a “lower-priced paid product designed to allow access to The Times’s most important and interesting stories” and an “enhanced tier that would offer extras at a higher price point to ‘all digital access’ and print subscribers.”

That enhanced tier, Christine Haughney reports, “would include services like access to events at The Times.”

The company also plans to get more involved in brand extensions, like games and e-commerce, and growing its conference business to bring in more revenue.

Circulation revenues were up 6.5 percent, and digital subscriptions at all company properties stand at 708,000, up about 6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. There are 676,000 New York Times and International Herald Tribune subscribers, up about 5 percent from the fourth quarter.

Advertising revenue was down 11 percent. Digital advertising revenue was down 4 percent. Circulation revenue was higher than advertising revenue. Revenues overall were down 2 percent over the first quarter of 2012.

Even before CEO Mark Thompson’s arrival, Times Co. has increased its focus on its core brand. Last year it shed assets, including its stake in the Boston Red Sox, as well as the content farm About.com. It sold its regional newspaper group in late 2011.

The company announced in February that it would seek a buyer for its New England Media Group, which publishes The Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

The Times Co. paid $1.1 billion for the Globe in 1993.

In March Times Co. announced it would rename the International Herald Tribune The International New York Times.

That rebranding, the release says, is part of an attempt to establish the Times as “the most innovative as well as authoritative print and digital news provider in the world.”

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  • baycommuter

    Most people feel the way you do, but unfortunately for you somewhere around 3 percent of any site’s unique visitors will pay, and that will greatly increase revenues. The other 97 percent will get the regular service, which is more about quantity of page views than quality.

  • Albin

    When I was growing up, my folks and then I paid for individual subscriptions to a paper and some magazines, but there was no equivalent to the $60/month charges for internet and/or mobile data subscription. As far as I’m concerned free media is what I’m paying my ISP and cell provider for on those devices. Anybody who thinks I’m going to pay for “pipes” to expensive hardware, and then pay incremental monthly charges for individual feeds, is nuts. Media content providers should work out a business accommodation with ISPs, telcos and aggregators like Google and Yahoo, and we’ll pay them or look at their ads.