New York Times Co., looking for ways to persuade readers to pay for news, is working with Spotify Ltd. to give new digital subscribers to the newspaper free access to the worldâ€™s largest music-streaming service. Readers who buy one-year online subscriptions to the Times will also get unlimited access to Spotifyâ€™s premium service, which costs $120 annually, the companies said.
The odd-couple partnership â€” a 165-year-old publisher and a hot internet company that disrupted the music industry â€” is a natural fit, said Meredith Kopit Levien, the Timesâ€™ chief revenue officer. The two companies will promote the joint-subscription offer on their platforms and team up on digital advertising, Levien said. â€œIf you think about the places where people spend their time in media, they spend a lot on music and a lot on news,â€ she said. â€œSo it made for a very positive association.â€
The Spotify deal highlights how the Times is seeking new ways to keep growing in the wake of the Nov. 8 election, with a goal of reaching 10 million digital subscribers. Its strategy focuses partly on reaching younger readers through new partnerships with online services like Spotify or its recent decision to join Snapchatâ€™s Discover platform. In November, the Times topped BuzzFeed and Vice Media in US millennial readers, with 48 million unique visitors, according to ComScore.
â€œWeâ€™re beginning to focus much more seriously on how many young people we have engaging with us and how we deepen those relationships,â€ Levien said. The Times declined to comment on how the companies will share revenue. The news-and-music subscription costs $5 a week, a 20 percent discount on the retail price for an all-access digital subscription to the Times.
The arrangement is aimed at helping both companies reach broader audiences. Spotify had more than 40 million paying subscribers globally as of last year. The Times just surpassed 3 million paid print and digital subscribers.
The Times signed up a record 276,000 new digital news subscribers last quarter, fueled by what some are calling the â€œTrump Bump.â€ The new president often rails against the Times, accusing the paper of unfair news coverage of him. But those criticisms, often in the form of tweets, have amounted to free advertising for the publisher.