I had some thoughts on the New York Times after reading this: It is possible to compete with the New York Times. Here’s how. – Columbia Journalism Review
In some ways, it confirms what I have long thought: the goal for some newspapers is not to be a regional or even national newspaper anymore: the goal now is to be a global one. The Daily Mail in the UK recognized that long ago. I know little of what they publish in the UK, I just know that they seem to be able to get a lot of people to read their online articles. In other words, they write locally but think globally. The same with the Guardian. And now I think the same is true for the Times.
The Times, according to the article, knows that most people are only going to subscribe to one paper. They want that paper to be the Times. And they seem to be winning this battle so far. Other papers might depend on click throughs, and no doubt the Times does too, but they also want to ensure that they have the one subscription you or your household pays for.
In some ways, the Times reminds me of a software company. They want to be the one platform you depend on and use every day. The way Facebook or Google or Amazon or Microsoft want to be the sole platform you use for information or social media or other essential IT.
I think there are ways to compete with the Times, just like there are ways to compete against those other behemoths. You can be a niche competitor. You can provide a deeper and richer experience tailored for a specific audience. You can be more nimble than they are. You can move to the future markets faster than they can.
None of these things are easy. But they are not impossible.
If you are in the news business, you need to learn how to compete with the New York Times. Because the Times is not going away and it is not getting smaller any time soon.