NY Times Makes a Small Bet on Its Future… That Won’t Matter Anyway

The NY Times has brought the newspaper business to yet another new low. And this one is ugly.

The “Gray Lady” is looking pretty worn out. Sure, the newspaper business is suffering, and the NY Times has done its best for more than a decade not to adapt to a changing media world. Now, it’s pushing out its paywall model, but it seems safe to guess that the company isn’t willing to bet its future on that. AT least, that’s the conclusion you draw if you get the tip I did today. In a move that’s akin to having a bake sale, the NY Times is launching a new advertising service called TimesLimited.

The second half of the appellation, of course, offers an air of exclusivity, and that’s for good reason. The newspaper is offering to connect advertisers to an upscale market. But, it’s doing so n a very cheap way. This new revenue stream consists of nothing more than email blasts accompanied by a very pricey affiliate model. There’s no charge to be included in the program, but if one of the Times’ recipients (unexpectedly) bites, you’re expected to share half the booty with the country’s “newspaper of record.” Sound crazy? You should read the pitch!

Dear Advertiser,

The New York Times is launching an important new e-mail service next week: TimesLimited. This new e-mail will connect New York Times readers with exclusive access to unique offerings and experiences featuring select New York Times advertisers.

TimesLimited is a service to both our readers and our advertisers. For readers, they will have access to experiences and offers that aren’t found elsewhere. For advertisers, the model is different from anything The Times has offered before. The cost of sending your offer to our readers is nothing. If readers purchase the offer you make exclusively on our site, you and The Times split the revenue. If the package doesn’t sell, you do not pay.

This isn’t another coupon site. It’s a new way for our upscale advertisers to speak directly to our highly desirable, affluent audience. We will work with you to create offers that make the most sense for your business and our audience, and to limit the quantity of offers available based on your goals.

Our team would be glad to speak with you about TimesLimited, and to work with you to create a custom offer.

This may not exactly be a sign of the newspaper apocalypse:” after all, the four horseman arrived back when Netscape went public. But, it is a pretty clear sign that the NY Times is trying to squeeze out an extra dime any way it can. Whoever came up with this idea either doesn’t own any of the company’s stock or dined on far too many crayons as a child.