Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
5 November 2018
Time magazine falters, NYT soars
I’ve been a news hound all my life. So why did I choose not to renew my subscription to Time magazine, but keep my New York Times one?
I ask this question in relation to the latest news involving both important media outlets. The New York Times reports a 24.4% increase in its digital subscriptions (which I have). Meanwhile, tech billionaires Marc and Lynn Benioff are finalizing a deal to buy Time magazine for $190 million.
That’s a relatively cheap price for such a famous, worldwide media brand. So it seems the Benioffs are getting a great deal, yes?
Not so fast. It’s not news to say magazines are struggling in this digital age, with few staying relevant. But didn’t we all say that about newspapers as well? So what’s the difference?
Well, for one, The New York Times remains along with The Washington Post the standards for national (and global) journalism. Both, and especially the Times, sport strong digital presences. The NYT’s reporters are very active on social media, and it retooled its website in recent months. It remains the media outlet where most news begins.
“Time magazine continues to fall far behind, while meaning less and less as the years go by. Who is the Time magazine subscriber? Because it’s so ill defined, I chose not to renew.”
What does Time magazine mean?
Time magazine is what? A big, fat nothing. For one thing, it’s a weekly, which means it’s reduced to fleshing out stories already seared into our brains. (Plus, it’s become a boring-ass read.)
And its online presence? Unlike the NYT, the site for Time magazine is remarkably thin. There’s nothing to suggest it’s existing in the digital world of 2018.
Yes, it promotes a newsletter, but that’s pretty basic stuff. The New York Times, meanwhile, recognizes the public remains more segmented than the general audience Time magazine seems to think still exists.
We live in the world of Netflix, whose approach is having so many genres, styles and offerings that anyone can find anything that fits their taste. NYT sends newsletters out by category such as Cooking or Watching (streaming TV). Both of which I subscribe to.
The New York Times has figured out how to customize everything for its readers, while also remaining the most relevant media outlet in the country.
Time magazine continues to fall far behind, while meaning less and less as the years go by. Who is the Time magazine subscriber? Because it’s so ill defined, I chose not to renew.
Am I the only one? Judging by the puny cost the Benioffs just paid out, I’m guessing I’m not the only one.
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