The New York Times Company (NYT - Analyst Report) rechristened International Herald Tribune as International New York Times to represent itself as a single brand in order to attract international digital subscribers. To draw more traffic, this diversified media conglomerate gave rest to its pay and read model, and stated that digital readers visiting the company’s website would be able to access articles without restriction from Oct 14 to Oct 19.
The online readers will have the option to select either a U.S. or International Edition while accessing the site through their iPhone and iPad news apps. The International Edition substitutes the IHT app with INYT.com, which will now be accessible on all devices through a Web browser.
After the complimentary days expire, the pay and read model will come into play. Consequently, nonsubscribers will not be able to access more than 10 free articles per month. Mobile app users will be able to access a maximum of three articles per day from over 25 sections, blogs and slideshows, before being asked to subscribe.
Most of the publishing companies started charging readers for online content, to offset shrinking advertising revenue. The publishing industry has long been grappling with sinking advertising revenue. This comes in the wake of a longer-term secular decline as more readers choose free online news, thereby making the print-advertising model increasingly irrelevant.
Advertising, which remains a significant source of revenue, is largely dependent upon the global financial health. We observe that The New York Times Company’s total advertising revenue slid 5.8% in the second quarter of 2013. Print advertising of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) dipped 6.8% during the quarter. Other publishing companies such as Journal Communications, Inc. , The E.W. Scripps Company (SSP - Snapshot Report) and Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI - Analyst Report) are also encountering similar headwinds.
Despite hiccups in the economy, what still promises a guaranteed revenue generation avenue is The New York Times Company’s pricing system for NYTimes.com, which was launched on Mar 28, 2011. The company notified that the number of paid digital subscribers for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune reached 699,000 at the end of the quarter, reflecting a 35% year-over-year hike.