The New York Times, which introduced a digital subscription model more than two years ago, announced last week that they are adding a line of lower-priced products—including online games—as they struggle to replace lost revenue from a drop in advertising sales.
“We want to deepen our relationship with our existing loyal customers, but we also want to use a wider family of New York Times products to reach new customers both here and around the world,” Times CEO Mark Thompson said in a statement.
In the first quarter, the Times reported an 11.2 percent drop in ad revenue, continuing a trend that began several years ago, and leading to a two percent drop in total revenue for the company.
Digital subscriptions, which had grown by 13 percent in the fourth quarter from third-quarter numbers, increased by six percent in the first quarter compared to fourth quarter numbers.
That slowdown in digital subscription growth prompted the company to seek additional sources of revenue to shore up its finances.
Besides games and e-commerce initiatives, the company will introduce lower priced access ($10/mo.) to the “most important and interesting stories” in the Times.
While expanding their offerings will probably lead to increased revenue, it is still a short-term fix for a long-term problem—slumping print and digital ad revenues—that shows no sign of abating any time soon and will continue to put pressure on the Times’ meager profits and its future as a print newspaper.