Droga5’s newest client is The Paper of Record: our own hometown New York Times.
NYT reps told us today that they would not be able to help us in our search for more information regarding the relationship between the two, and Droga5 declined to comment.
But we can confirm, via multiple sources, that the agency has been working with The Grey Lady’s marketing department on a project basis. The nature of the work is not clear, but we hear that it ties into the paper’s larger strategic goals.
That almost certainly translates into increasing the NYT’s subscriber base and appealing to younger, more diverse audiences while maintaining its position as the dominant news brand in an increasingly splintered digital media ecosystem.
Last October, the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post surpassed the New York Times in overall web traffic for the first time; as the latter org’s Lydia Polgreen put in a tweet at the time, “Meet America’s new paper of record.” The same month, the Times’ editorial staff sent out a 12-page internal memo titled “Our Path Forward” and announced a very ambitious plan: doubling digital revenues over the next five years.
The Times’ digital subscriptions have been growing as print advertising dollars dwindle, but it may struggle to reach the aforementioned revenue goal. A September Digiday report noted the NYT’s plans to localize its editorial and marketing efforts and the challenges it faces in both expanding its global audience and attracting international advertisers that have traditionally worked with local publications.
Droga5’s first work for The New York Times should debut at some point in the coming months.
We would also note that this development has nothing to do with a May Style piece that cast Droga5 employees as a self-contained fashion show in what should forever serve as a case study in PR mastery.