How many ways can the New York Times find to repackage and sell what amounts to the same content?


As expected, the New York Times has announced the launch of two new subscription products: one a stripped-down version of its content called NYT Now, an iOS app that provides a custom-curated selection of the day’s news, and the other a premium version called NYT Premier, which offers exclusive content such as e-books and special crosswords for $585 a year. It’s an ambitious attempt to slice the same loaf of bread in multiple ways, but will it work? I confess I am sceptical.

The context behind these announcements is fairly obvious to anyone who has been paying attention over the past year or so: the Times knows that the revenue from its main paywall or metered subscription plan is flattening out, and it needs to find other ways of filling the widening gap between its digital revenue and its still-declining print advertising revenue.

At an event last fall in…

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