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NYT Replaces Editors’ Choice iPad App With Full Version — Free For Now

You expected more from The New York Times on the iPad? You’re getting it — and eventually, you’ll have to pay to get all of it. The NYTCo (NYSE: NYT) flagship is updating its Editors’ Choice iPad app with an expanded version that will include more content from the website, such as constant breaking news, video and other multimedia as well. The app will hit Apple’s App Store tomorrow.

The new NYTimes App for iPad will be free at the start. But once the metered paywall kicks in for early next year, the app’s users will be required to pay a subscription for full access. In the meantime, registration is still required for most content.

Full access: Readers will be able to access the entire app — more than 25 sections of NYT content and content from roughly 50 blogs — only by logging in with an existing account or by completing the free in-app registration. Unregistered users can view top news, most e-mailed, business and video. How much will it cost for full access? The company isn’t saying yet. However, as Yasmin Namini, SVP, marketing and circulation/GM, reader applications for the NYT Media Group, told me during a demo of the new iPad app, the company will probably offer a choice of monthly or annual subscriptions.

As the iPad goes, so does iPhone: The iPhone, too, will likely be covered by a similar type of subscription model as the iPad when the website paywall comes. That means total free access will soon be coming to an end for the iPhone as well. “When we go to the pay model, there will always be something you can access without having a paid subscription,” Namini said. “Whether it will be the free four sections you get without registering or something different, that

5 Responses to “NYT Replaces Editors’ Choice iPad App With Full Version — Free For Now”

  1. Ian,

    Keep in mind that New York Times is an editorial company and cannot subscribe to the e-commerce model without sacrificing editorial control. The New York Times have a certain biased and agenda and what they are trying to do is monetized that bias and agenda that the editors imposed on their readers, not the other way around.

    If you make media such as New York Times an e-commerce operation, then they have to be obligated by shareholders to maximize profits putting popular stories about celebrity hollywood gossip (people willing to pay for) over social issues (people not willing to pay for).

    What you proposed is the correct path but don’t count on editorial ego driven newspapers like the New York Times to take it..

  2. What analysts and people like Moody’s don’t get [those you think newspaper companies like the NYT are dead or dieing] is that the NYT went from being a newspaper company to thinking it had to be an Internet company (which was all about nothing, and which no one could really define, or attribute enough revenue too, although plenty of costs.)

    No one got that the Internet just IS – it’s a tech platform, not a business

    Then, entirely prompted by another company (Apple) they saw the iPad and, boy, did they see the light.

    Aha! We are now a Screen Company. This we can monetize because we can make a great product for a great product and people will pay for it.

    (By the way, reading the NYT, or anything, on an iPhone instead or an iPad is like watching 5 a side soccer or an 11 a side game).

    So the NYT has now gone from being a Newspaper Company (and failed Internet Company because it never could be one) to a Screen Company, and my guess is that they’ll build great apps for any new Screen that comes along, be it from Apple or Samsung or whoever. And they’ll get better at doing it, and they have a large R&D and IT development team to do this. The iPad NYT you see today is just the one you see today. It’ll probably (or should) change EVERY day in terms of its functionality and design, you just won’t notice it.

    In fact they’ll get so good, and the iPad is such an enormous game changer, that people WILL return to/come to the NYT, and they will pay for it, because no one wants to relax and be informed and entertained in front of a desktop or with a warm laptop on their lap. And no one can shift through the Internet – it’s just too damn much.

    This is going to mean enormous revenues for the NYT – GLOBALLY – because the margins, with zero news-stand returns and zero P & D costs, are staggeringly good.

    So far, so good.

    However, here’s the kicker.

    If the NYT works out that it is not a Screen Company, but an E-COMMERCE company, and can disintermediate iStore or Amazon, and retain direct contact with its millions of customers, then they can really go out to bat in 2011. How?

    By using the NYT brand to sell any number of products via the Screen for the Screen and any number of products via the Screen off the Screen viz. tangible goods.

    If they did set up an e-commerce platform of their own, then the future of this company (and its stock price at under $8 last week when I suggested to my Mum she buy some) is looking, frankly, spectacular and the stock price a steal. (Remember how Amazon’s stock price went?)

    They have cracked the Screen (or rather someone else did – Apple, which is day and night ahead of Kindle – and then they just reacted).

    Can they now be an E-commerce company?

    All it would take is some investment in existing complicated, but not impossible technology, and a very, very clear understanding of their brand and their customers.

    If they crack that, then they can keep on selling proven existing customers – on whom they already have A LOT more data than Bezos did when he started Amazon – more and more NYT branded product via their iPads/A.N. Other Screen. They can also do the same thing for the IHT and the Boston Globe.

    Bottom line, the iPad – and whatever improved versions of it arrive, and other Screens from other companies – is an absolute game changer for newspapers. In fact their savior.

    You can buy stuff as you read with the swipe of a finger. Think about that.

    The Internet was accessed via a static chair in front of a static desk and was hopeless for delivery. It was like a slightly better rigged sailing ship, not a shift to steam.

    But Screen World IS the shift from sail to steam, and now people who weren’t happy with the speed and manner in which the NYT delivered its cargo (newspaper – late; Internet – static) are now going to come in droves.

    The main issue for the NYT right now is having the creativity to work out what they can sell with their brand via Screen World.

    Have they got it? I don’t know, but if they have, then this is a company to follow very, very closely.

    Murdoch has gone totally the wrong way on this, and he’ll pay (by going bankrupt).

    The NYT are slow – like a giant tanker – but they’ll come out of this in quite an extraordinary way. Remember, we are at the very, very beginning of Screen World.

    The NYT is going to continue to produce great quality content, make a lot of money and the world will be all the better for it.