Snippets From A Fast-Changing World

An independent observer looks at things differently to someone who is right in the middle.

The New York Times’ R&D Lab has built a tool that explores the life stories take in the social space

By Megan Garber

Some of the most exciting work taking place in The New York Times building is being done on the 28th floor, in the paper’s Research and Development Lab. The group serves essentially as a skunkworks project for a news institution that stands to benefit, financially and otherwise, from creative thinking; as Michael Zimbalist, the Times’ vice president of R&D, puts it, the team is “investigating the ideas at the edges of today and thinking about how they’re going to impact business decisions tomorrow.” (For more on the group’s doings, check out the series of videos that we shot there a couple of years ago.)...more

Inside the NYT Lincoln Deal: It’s About Dollars, Traffic and Conversion

Apr 7, 2011

So, it looks like an intriguing deal.

Ford Motors’ Lincoln is subsidizing 100,000 new NYT digital subscriptions. Well, it is an intriguing deal, but it’s more nuanced than it seems, and in that nuance, we see some of the next models for how the digital circulation business and the digital ad business will newly intertwine, and open up new revenue streams and new marketing opportunities.

It’s just one deal, but it points to the fact that the new business model in creation will be based more on digital advertising than digital circulation. Making that new interplay work is as important as setting prices and deciding how to restrict content accces for anyone putting up a pay wall, pay fence or pay obstacle of any kind...more

The NYT Pay Plan’s Most Dangerous Foe: Perception

Staci D. Kramer Mar 27, 2011

By now, we were supposed to have clarity about how The New York Times will use a meter to create a digital subscription revenue stream. After all, the plan went into effect in Canada March 17 and is supposed to start rolling out in the United States and globally Monday afternoon. We do have details—all-you-can-click social, 20 clicks at NYTimes.com (NYSE: NYT) before direct access is lost, pay plans of $15-$35 every four weeks—but the clearest aspect so far is how hard it is to cut through preconceptions, particularly when flexibility and complexity are involved...more

The newsonomics of Sunday paper/tablet subscriptions

By Ken Doctor

Digital news business models are playing out on pool tables these days. Break the balls and you have no idea where they’re going or how they’ll impact each other. We’ve got paid content models of varying kinds. We’ve got the new combining “free world” of AOL/Huffington Post+ taking aim at the emerging paid world. We’ve got continuing revolutions in advertising models and technologies. We’ve got the knitting together of professional publishing and higher-end “amateur” publishing. And we have the biggest introduction of a digital device, the iPad, that we’ve ever seen, while smartphone adoption continues to create a news-anywhere world. Draw back the pool cue, punch a ball, and new patterns emerge — some planned, many quite unintentional, and maybe a few dramatic in their impact...more

Paywall or no paywall, print is still what pays

Peter Preston The Observer, Sunday 20 March 2011

The New York Times’s model for online charging will no doubt be widely copied. But according to one analyst, print will still be providing 86% of UK newspapers’ revenues even in 2017.

So, at long, long last, we have the paywall policy all Americannewspapers – and many others around the globe – have been waiting for. Get the New York Times delivered at home and you receive internet access free. But eschew print and visit the website more than 20 times a month and you’ll be charged $15 or $20 or $35 a month according to the number of bells and whistles (tablets, smartphones etc) you opt for.…more

Media Buyers Say NYT Advertising May Actually Get A Boost From Paywall

David Kaplan twitter @davidaKaplanMar 18, 2011 11:15 AM ET

Media buyers don’t expect the New York Times’ online ad revenue, which was up double digits last year, to take a hit from the company’s new digital subscription plans. Some even see a scenario where the NYT will be able to charge higher rates—if the newspaper hits the expected number of “heavy users” which may offer proof of “more engaged” readers.

When it comes to digital ad revenue, the NYTCo’s experience has mirrored most major publishers. In Q4, digital adsremained a particular bright side in general, as that segment rose 11.1 percent to $113.2 million. Citing a “volatile ad market,” the company experienced a 7.2 percent drop in print ad dollars...more

New York Times launches online charging

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York Published: March 17 2011

The New York Times has launched its long-awaited model for charging for news online, with a “metered” subscription approach that will charge more than some analysts had expected, but ensure that most readers never encounter the paywall.

NYTimes.com will become the largest non-financial newspaper to charge at least some online readers, starting the industry’s most closely watched experiment in whether general interest publications can wean readers off a 15-year habit of finding news online for free...more

Bob Woodward: ‘You get the truth at night, the lies during the day’

by Mallary Jean Tenore Published Mar. 15, 2011 6:34 pm Updated Mar. 16, 2011 9:56 am

During a visit to Poynter on Tuesday, Bob Woodward talked about Watergate’s original code name, why he likes his iPad, and the best time of day to access hard-to-reach sources.

Below, I’ve highlighted his thoughts on these topics and others. The quotes are drawn from two talks Woodward gave at Poynter and a one-on-one interview I had with him...more