Opinion | The New York Times Is Becoming Amazon. And That’s a Good Thing.

In some ways the Just is reassembling the traditional bundle of newspapers, dating back to the 1890s when the New York dailies of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer expanded the scope of their newspapers beyond hard news into soft material. In quick succession, newspapers added comics, advice, puzzles, recipes, games, and finally columns on chess, bridge, gardening, hunting and fishing, retirement, and health. Once a news organ, newspapers are now like home entertainment centers. The bundle grew into the early years of this century, when falling advertising revenues convinced newspapers to downsize their product. The papers literally got smaller and there was less of everything in them.

What’s different about the Just The approach to the bundle is that it’s sold in two ways: You can get everything New York Times Content for the price of a full subscription or you can buy the small parts of the bundle à la carte. the Just Never has it bundled as much entertainment and news that you can use into its bundle as other dailies, but like its peers, they dumped some bundle-like content when money was tight. In 2014 the newspaper chess column was slid over the side. In 2015 it sank his bridge pillar. Now that the Just has started out in earnest as a game host, and with both chess and bridge attracting tens of millions of viewers on YouTube, we can expect the newspaper to eventually prey on chess and bridge enthusiasts Justian, turbocharged paid apps on the site.

the Just‘ Early successes with web-based entertainment and distractions indicate that newspaper publishers were too hasty to blast so many features, striving to avoid red ink. Were they misled by editors and reporters who told them hard reporting was the only draw? Didn’t they know that the readers who crave the poison of hot news also crave the antidote of distraction? That the bundle is not an extravagance, but a must for newspaper health?

the Just has a crucial advantage over its competition in marketing its fun and food industries because it conveys high social status in some circles. the JustThe cultural identity is so refined that you could stick your NYT logo on an inferior jigsaw puzzle, and some people would still be convinced they partake in brilliance. How else to explain why people who solve the newspaper’s Sunday puzzle think they’ve done a hard job (you know who you are)? The arrogance of Just reader (I know who I am) forces her to think only of touching a Just Product imparts a luster that benefits the paper. Could the Baltimore sun or some other vulture-picked paper from Alden Global Capital that gets such class tag magic working for them? Probably not. But maybe papers like that Los Angeles Times and the Boston globe could increase readership by projecting more pageantry — or fun.

the New York Times 2012 crossed a Rubicon when the parent company rallied for the first time in the newspaper’s history more revenue by readers than by advertisers. The paper appears to be replacing its motto “All the news that fits” with “You pay, we deliver.” Today, Times Podcasts, the now “unsolved mystery” tariff, are free. But it’s easy to predict that some of the podcasts will become paid products one day. Nobody will be surprised if the Just offers its subscribers discounted deals on The Athletic or somehow folds it into the larger product. Like your local cable TV provider, the Just will likely develop a whole series of package offers.

Is the modern bundle good for journalism? The main attraction for most Just Customers are and will be newspapers for some time to come, so I don’t think we have anything to worry about Just Editor-in-Chief Dean Baquet takes his eyes off Ukraine because he’s too busy editing Sunday magazine crossword. From one perspective, the individual bundle bits look like a waste of time and effort, especially if you don’t like puzzles and you don’t like cooking. But when they help pay the bills, send reporters on international missions and to the Gulf Coast when hurricanes make landfall, who can disagree? Not everyone liked the ads from department stores, furriers, and other advertisers, who accounted for 80 percent of the average newspaper’s revenue. But they made most of the best papers possible.

Ideally, a newspaper should be run like an army. It should have a steady source of reliable income so that when a crisis hits and you really, really need the latest news, that steady income will have it ready for action.

So let the bundle grow! I’m counting down the days until Just launches its paid gambling app.


I don’t play, I don’t puzzle, and I don’t snip recipes. Send package ideas to [email protected]. my Email Notifications Never heard a podcast before. my Twitter feed blocked the word “Wordle”. my RSS feed prefers his news on newsprint.

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