The New York Times Is Offering a Free Spotify Subscription
Who knew the Grey Lady was so hip?
On Wednesday, the New York Times announced new digital subscribers will receive a free membership to Spotify Premium, the popular catalogue of online music.
The Times, which received a big subscriber boost following the Presidential election, appears to be trying to further expand its reach with a younger audience. In a news release announcing the new promotion, the paper claimed the Spotify Premium subscription is worth $120 and provides access to more than 120 million songs.
The company’s chief revenue officer, Meredith Kopit Levien, explained the purpose of the promotion was in part to help readers “live better lives.”
“News and music have gone hand-in-hand since the early days of radio, and because personalization and curation are central to what both The Times and Spotify do so well, we created an experience for Times readers that gives them access to all the news and all the music that they want in one premier subscription,” said Levien in a statement.
As for the fine print, it appears that only new subscribers are eligible for the Spotify sign-up, and that the offer entails a one-year commitment. The subscription, which costs $5 a week, also includes a variety of Times Insider goodies like podcasts, ebooks, and access to live events.
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The new promotion comes at a time when the New York Times, like most traditional media outlets, are scrambling to find new business models to pay for their journalism.
While the election of Donald Trump helped the Times add an impressive 276,000 new digital subscribers in the last quarter (more than all of 2013 and 2014 put together), this boost is still not enough to offset an ongoing plunge in print revenue. Meanwhile, overall operating profit and annual revenue is still declining and, as my Fortune colleague Mathew Ingram explained, is likely to keep doing so for the foreseeable future.
But on the brighter side, the Spotify Premium promotion shows how the Times continues to shake off its once fuddy-duddy image, and experiment with digital offerings. Meanwhile, the recent surge of subscribers suggest more people see supporting journalism as a civic or political choice—something that could bode well for the likes of the Times in the long term.