Is The Times making its edition model work?

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

You may recall that a year ago, The Times did an unexpected thing: it backed away from 24 hour rolling news on its websites, and switched instead to an editions model.

The big question: did it work? The answer, based on a recent Nieman Lab article, seems to be “yes”:

The Times said the number of subscribers that pay for app and website access increased 20 percent, usage of its smartphone app grew 30 percent, mobile website usage increased about 30 percent, and articles read per visit was up 110 percent.

They’re not revolutionary numbers – but they’re good, solid growth of the back of the relaunch.

Pleasingly, The Times team are continuing to iterate on their central premise:

The Times has noticed that its traffic peaks when each update is published, but it noticed that a spike in readership coming from smartphone users around 10 p.m. As a result, it’s now considering adding a 10 p.m. edition. “We built the updates around the time we knew people came to us, and we’ve just discovered a couple more, which is satisfying, and we want to be led by our readers in everything that we do,” Hunter said.

That’s good, solid, analytics-driven strategy, using the numbers to give insights into how your readers consumer what you do – and then adapting what you do to match that.

I’m a fan (for obvious reasons).

business modelseditorial strategyNews UKpaywallsslow journalismThe Times

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.