The New York Times: Digital Subscriptions

The New York Times recently transitioned back to a subscription model (see article).  A couple highlights regarding the new model:

  • The NYT is still allowing users to have free access to 20 articles per month.
  • Readers who find NYT articles through links (from search engines, blogs and social media) will still be able to read those articles.
  • Price Models:
    • NYTimes.com + Smartphone App:* $3.75 per week (billed every 4 weeks at $15.00)
    • NYTimes.com + Tablet App:* $5.00 per week (billed every 4 weeks at $20.00)
    • All Digital Access:* $8.75 per week (billed every 4 weeks at $35.00)

Although I will miss the ad-supported content, I understand the need for the Times to find a solution to cover its expenses.  Producing news at the rate and quality in which they do requires a significant expense, and continuing to do so was likely not a viable solution for them in the long term.

From my perspective, when the Times converted to the ad-based only model, they encountered the following challenges: Continue reading

From Adage: “Google Sees Facebook Threat in String of Deals”

googleRead an article today about Google’s recent acquisitions and how they relate to Facebook:  http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=145563

An interesting quote from this article is an explanation by Debra Williamson (from emarketer) regarding Google’s interest:

“Why are games important to Google and to Facebook? “They’re a huge part of what people do when they’re in social networks and they are very addictive, they keep people coming back”

facebookFacebook is an interesting threat because it manages an enormous source of user data and attention and has become a comprehensive online destination.  Google on the other hand, has become a more complicated entity as they have expanded from search into news, finance, weather, online video, and mail in the last few years.

Given that Facebook  has become a hub that connects peers in an environment that contains links to daily articles, games, and interest, I am curious about Facebooks traffic trends in the future.

(In case you can’t see the article, I have an excerpt of the article below)

Continue reading

Re: What Matters Most When Selecting an Agency

Interesting media/advertising article: http://adage.com/cmostrategy/article?article_id=145554

The three points I like specifically are:

1. Don’t hire an agency. Hire a culture. The core values of an agency will foretell the kind of relationship you are likely to have. Favor agencies that are collaborative, innovative and proactive. Avoid agencies that tolerate fiefdoms. And their office often will reflect their culture.

2. Talent rules. The most critical decision in any review is getting a measure of the agency talent. Agencies that are brave, culturally diverse and committed to self-expression create better, more forward-thinking teams. Find out what kind of people they hire. Are they ambitious? Inspired? Make sure that the talent is technologically literate.

10. Have the right perspective. Don’t just hire an agency based on its history. Hire its future, its vision. Look at what it thinks about the most important consumer trends. Find out how well it gets technology, how deep and central to its culture that is, and whether it understands how to use social media.

Between the lines, I also read the importance of understanding the technology and emerging media — these are a couple key pillars in the digital industry as the market continues to evolve.  An example might be the transition from individual publisher sites to inventory networks to data networks and demand side platform technologies in the last decade.  To understand the inner workings is what allows you to make your way through the smoke and mirrors.