How The New York Times Measures User Engagement

“Our business model, essentially, is that we produce high quality journalism.”

At Social Media Week in New York, we heard from Mark Thompson, the CEO of the New York Times in a discussion with Toby Daniels, the Founder and Executive Director of SMW. Mark began his talk by telling us about his background, and his start in TV journalism with the BBC.

Even while working at the BBC, Mark acknowledged that The New York Times was “one of the very best newsrooms on the planet.” He noticed that The New York Times confronted the digital change the world saw with a different view than other American news outlets.

According to Mark, The New York Times “continued to produce great journalism. They doubled down on their investment in content, which was the better play.”

Next, Mark spoke about the strategy at The New York Times. He, and The New York Times, have realized that people are willing to pay for high quality content. In terms of user experience, he believes that every subscriber should feel like the content they receive is worth paying for, even if it’s free.

He believes that smartphones, in particular, enable companies with high quality to find deeply engaged users. In order to do this, “you need to become a destination, you need to start becoming a daily habit”.

“We stand for storytelling, and for arming people to begin a conversation – whether it be physical or on social media,” Mark said.

Read the full session recap at SMW News

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