The Business Of The New York Times

Here’s a New York Magazine article about the nerds at The New York Times who are doing extremely nifty things with their website. (The Year In Ideas 2008, the chart they put together for movie earnings, and to a lesser extent the galleries (like this one of Obama’s People) come to mind.)

What they’re doing isn’t earth shattering web design, but it does seem to be far and away above what other newspapers are doing and, frankly, how any other websites are presenting news.

I have little faith in web advertising as a sustainable revenue model capable of supporting a website (actually supporting an entire company, print media is circling the drain) like nytimes.com over the long term. The Times released earnings yesterday showing digital ad spending down (“Digital ad revenues, which grew at a rate of 15 percent in the year-earlier quarter, were down 3.5 percent in Q4 2008.”) (Then again, Twitter says media is thriving, so who knows.)

I was talking about this with friends and suggesting in the future we might see “NYTimes.com Presented by Apple” (or by Google, or by Microsoft, or by Coca Cola, you get the idea). It’s a destination on the web for people, but in order to keep presenting the news in new and innovative ways, they’re going to need CPMs that just aren’t attainable. Being owned and presented by a company not in the news business seems to me like a very viable option.

2 questions for you:
I’m more fascinated by the melting down of the traditional media than in the auto industry, am I alone on this?
Is the above paragraph completely crazy?

The Business Of The New York Times

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