NYT’s Nisenholtz’s Speech: The Importance Of Engagement


Martin Nisenholtz, the SVP for digital operations at The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), delivered the keynote address at the Wharton School of Business’ “Future of Publishing” conference this afternoon. Here’s his speech, in which he talks at length about the importance of engagement on the web:

Thank you. It


Dan Miller

Nice spin, but it won’t fool anyone. Engagement is your fancy word for “no more free content online”. Be sure and let us know how your readers feel about this move, and if they choose to “engage” their focus somewhere else. Foxnews.com is free content and it’s balanced reporting. Hmmm, sounds like an easy decision to me.

Staci D. Kramer

The Times is not doing away with free content online at NYTimes.com.
Starting early next year, it plans to limit the amount frequent users
get free.

K. Warman Kern

Way to turn the word “engagement” into a meaningless buzz word.

Jury rigging a product designed to generate pageviews to generate ad revenues into something worth paying for by readers is rationalizing.

Pageviews are not engagement.

Pageviews have one purpose only and that is to drive ad revenues.

A product designed to generate pageviews wants you to click on as many pages as possible before you find what is really relevant and compelling to engage with. Timespent with media is a negative for a product designed to be paid for by the reader, but a positive for an advertiser.

A product designed to be worth paying for, gets you to the relevant and compelling stuff quickly and engages you in participation.

A product designed to be worth paying for doesn’t consider participation to be publishing comments, one to many, but facilitates learning, discovering, creating, and camaraderie in real time from anywhere.

We’ve got a long way to go.


Mark Burgess

The NYTimes and other reputable news sources are in a position to charge for content. Shifting from free to paid content is viewed as a radical shift but it is all about the value provided.

Ed Dunn

I agree with the previous comments as I read this….whatever, Mr. Nisenholtz…

NYT has a feature in their comment section where they “pick the best comments” out of the thread.

Well, there was an African-American topic the NYT discussed and it was interesting to note the “best comments” NYT picked were opinions that made NYT non-diverse staff “comfortable” and not the opinion or consensus of African-Americans.

This is the guy that is trying to tell me and you about online “social engagement” with a straight face.

Runs Bergers

A bore, nothing new. At least he is all things digital at this Co. No one else seems to be.


This person has to be among the most overrated in the industry.

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