Case Study: NY Times paywall

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Case Study: NY Times paywall2019-02-06T08:41:01+00:00

Project Description

It is the contents not the paywall but How?

Brief: Do paywalls really work for newspapers ?

Progress for this project

1. Background

New York Times paywall

Case Overview
In 2011, NY Times website became restricted site where most content was protected behind Paywall.
The Industry’s revenue has been declining over the decade due to the move from traditional to online reading.
Online revenue not enough replace the losses of the printing revenue.
Readers do not want to pay for paywall
NY Times are having a tough time deciding on how to attract readers to subscribe to pay wall.

: Audience


  1. 50–50, with a median age of 51 years and median household income of $99,669.
  2. about 60 percent of Times’ audience were college graduates “plus” (bachelors or higher), 42 percent were professional/managerial, and 13 percent were top management level.



  1. Website of NYT brings journalism in all forms like readable articles, audio and video.
  2. It has won 108 Pulitzer prizes more than any other news organization.
  3. Its website receives more than 30 million unique visitors per month.
  4. Mobile application are available to access content on android and iphone along with ipad.


  1. The newspaper has been criticized for failure of reporting famine in Ukraine.
  2. One of its reporters was accused of plagiarism and later got arrested.


1.Can generate more revenues online by entering into partnership with other websites.

2.Introduce innovative features which grab attention with less criticism.

3.Improve the sales by marketing on large scale via Internet.


1.Increasing competition from other newspapers.

2.Parodies and negative reviews act as a roadblock.

3.Lawsuits can be filed for misrepresentation in an form.

4.Social network


  • People still want the news
  • Digital is the right direction
  • Revenue streams are working
  • Innovation is just getting started

It is the content, not the paywall.

“From Brexit to Trump, the rise of populism favors a flight to quality information”

“Newspapers welcome more digital subscribers in time of fake news”

4.Proposed solution

1.Bundle with digital subscribe each month

  • Another possibility is bundling digital subscriptions. Amazon has been offering its estimated 54m Prime members in the US deeply discounted subscriptions to the Washington Post (owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) since 2015.

Cellphone payment (netflix just added on T-mobile plan), netfilx, spotify, amazon, microsoft, adobe cc, apple music, HBO, PS4 tinder, credit card.

Every times when people grow up (change the job/Graduated/moving to new place) there is opportunity to get them subscribed.

2.Redesign mobile app for better reading experience.

  • Adding Timesvideo in the app. Newyork Tims has really good video channels.
  • Offline
  • Personalize the feed.
  • Navigation on the bottom of the screen. easy to reach.



3. Social media

How Millennials consume news.

1. It’s integrated into their lives

2. They’re exposed to opposing viewpoints

3. They consume news from people they know

NY times is doing right on IG and Snapchat

IG (telling by picture)

Snapchat (animation highlight on the key sentence help the audience capture the main idea)

What can NY Times improve?

On Facebook, NY Times should categorize the channel to get more traffic to the Page. for example

Insider have more than 10 categories.


NY Times has potential on several contents categories.