NYT Shuts Down Curated News App, Seeks New Readers on Social Media

The New York Times is pulling its NYT Now app from app stores at the end of August.  Released in 2014 the application was designed to attract new, younger readers with a curated selection of the outlets’ content for an $8/month subscription fee–about half the cheapest digital subscription. The app apparently peaked in May 2015 with 334,000 unique monthly users, but is attracting under a quarter of that number during the last quarter.

It isn’t easy to make money with news anymore, and this app was an attempt to offset NYT’s dips in revenue caused by declining printed newspaper sales. The app offers a custom curated news feed, tailored to the readers interest, though after it “never quite took off,” the app switched revenue strategy to a freemium model. The company’s main app NYTimes will live on, with several of NYT Now’s features finding a new home in the mother-ship app, “including morning and evening news briefings, bullet-point lists and a more conversational tone.”

Kinsey Wilson is the New York Times executive vice president for product and technology. Wilson claims the company is facing a shift in how they think about broadening the audience, and instead will focus on major social media platforms, namely Facebook and Twitter, to younger readers. “That gave us a different ability to tap into younger audiences and to provide exposure to a much, much wider audience,” said Wilson.

NYT Now editors have posted a brief note about the apps closure, including instructions for existing users to find its various features in other apps. The app will officially be unavailable in September.