When it comes to newspapers, The New York Times is the king of the hill. One would think that making that newspaper available digitally for a reasonable subscription price would bring in tons of money off the bat. Not so, according to the first month’s statistics.
Through the first month of availability, The New York Times has signed up only 100,000 digital subscriptions. While that may seem like a ton of people, it really is only a speck of the potential subscribers The Times should draw eventually.
Over time, The New York Times could have millions of people digitally reading their newspaper. Keep in mind that the Times is the third largest newspaper in the country. That said, the first month has to be considered a bit of a disappointment.
One huge reason for the optimism is the Apple connection. The iPhone or iPad both has applications that customers can download to view the newspaper, and they are partnering with the Times to a point. They will be paying Apple a portion of digital profits (30 percent) beginning in June. The application has been downloaded nearly eight million times, so business should pick up relatively soon.
The New York Times is suffering in a similar financial manner to other print based newspapers. They are now beginning to try to embrace the online options to offset some of these problems. While the newspaper will always be considered at or near the top of the journalistic news heap, it can lose some relevancy if it loses it’s readership. Like it or not, subscriptions and advertising are where it is at.
The digital world is the obvious choice for most print newspapers, if only because of money. The cost of printing newspapers has risen in recent years to the point that digital makes complete sense to even the most traditional newspapers. Gone are the days when a newspaper could dig their heels in and refuse the Internet options before them. The New York Times is certainly a good example of how the digital world is changing the print world.
Will the New York Times be successful in their foray into the online subscription service? There is no reason to believe that they will fail given the outstanding applications and options that are out there. Apple products offering your product seems to be golden, and The New York Times is certainly still in major demand. It seems natural that subscribers would gladly move over to the digital world over the print copies. What is not certain is how long it will take.
With the current number of application downloads, and the offers being put out there by The New York Times themselves, it is completely reasonable to see much improved profits as early as the end of the year. That is no certainty by any means, but it is surely possible. The conversion will be one that takes some time, but it should be a huge success once all the pieces fall into place.