The New York Times has announced that it will shut down its NYT Now curated news app the week of August 29th. The Times debuted the app in early 2014, in an attempt to reach readers via a cheaper alternative to its digital subscription service. NYT Now was originally available for $8 per month, around half the price of the Times’ cheapest digital sub.
The Times had hoped the app would attract mobile users, in its search for new revenue sources to offset drops in print circulation and advertising. However, the app never gained its footing, and last year it moved from a subscription model to free, in the hope to expand the app’s audience.
Kinsey Wilson, the executive vice president for product and technology, said the decision to do away with NYT Now was driven in part by a shift in how the company thinks about broadening its audience. The Times, with the help of its audience development team, now looks more to third-party platforms like Facebook and Twitter to expand its reach among younger readers.
“That gave us a different ability to tap into younger audiences and to provide exposure to a much, much wider audience,” Mr. Wilson said.
A number of features of NYT Now have found their way into the Times’ main news products, including morning and evening news briefings, bullet-point lists and a more conversational tone. At its peak, in May 2015, the app had 334,000 total unique users.
The app averaged 257,000 unique users in the last three months. NYT Now is not the first app The Times has been forced to shutdown. In 2014, the publisher terminated its NYT Opinion app due to its failure to gain traction with users. The Times still offers a main news app, the popular free food app NYT Cooking and The Scoop, a Times guide to New York.