All the news that’s fit to read on your iPhone—now for free!
On Monday The New York Times updated its iOS news app,
NYT Now. Along with some minor design tweaks, the app’s most notable change is that it’s
now completely free. Previously, readers could only have unlimited access to articles on NYT Now with an $8 subscription. Last year the Times acknowledged that the paid version of NYT Now had
not been as popular as they had expected.
Aimed at young, mobile readers, NYT Now’s main feed gets constantly updated by the Times’ editorial team to include the “most important stories of the day”—whether those stories come from The New York Times or other outlets like Slate and BuzzFeed. NYT Now’s main feed also alerts you of how many new stories have been posted since you last opened the app. Like the Times’ main iOS app, NYT Now comes with breaking news notifications.
NYT Now will supplement lost subscription revenue with advertising from sponsors. The first advertiser on the free version is Delta Airlines. When you first open the app, the welcome screen includes a brief mention of this sponsorship.
This update comes at a time when mobile news seems to be gaining momentum. Even nontraditional media players are investing in delivering news to a mobile audience. This year
Snapchat launched a news division to become a sort of mobile-first CNN in time for 2016 presidential election.
The impact on you: The New York Times has instated a paywall on its digital articles, which means non-subscribers can only read 10 stories a month. A digital monthly subscription can set you back either $15 (web and iPhone apps), $20 (web and iPad apps), or $35 (all access). So this update means that the NYT Now app is the only way for non-subscribers to get free, unlimited articles from The Gray Lady.