NY Times Turning News Into A Platform

from the smart dept

For years, we've been big fans of the concept of having newspapers start becoming platforms, rather than monolithic "news delivering" services. Over the past year or so, a group of digitally savvy folks at the NY Times have shown one way that can work. Their latest move? To turn the NY Times news articles into a true platform. They've released an API for news, allowing others to actually build useful tools on top of the NY Times' news articles. Contrast that to, say, GateHouse Media, which recently sued the NY Times for trying to build useful tools on top of GateHouse's content.

Of course, just because there are some folks on the digital side who "get it" at the NY Times, it doesn't mean management has quite figured things out yet. At the same time as releasing this API, the paper's Executive Editor, Bill Keller is talking about trying to lock up their content and charge people for it, again. Yes, the newspaper needs new and innovative business models, but by now it should know that trying to charge for such content simply isn't a sustainable model. There's too much competition out there (which the NY Times discovered already when it tried and failed to charge for content a few years back). There are things that the paper can charge for -- but basic online content isn't one that will be successful.
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Filed Under: api, news, platform
Companies: ny times


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  • identicon
    opit, 5 Feb 2009 @ 9:51pm

    Locked content

    I run a link recommendation site : sort of a catchall of my picks of interest. NYT lost coverage like mad when it tried to tie up content. They didn't quit because the tactic was a winner.
    Likewise AP has the bright idea they can charge for articles. Someone hasn't realized my free advertising is not their revenue stream.I don't list article one from their sources : and doubt I'm alone.
    The long tail isn't monetized by me. Like most, the operation is a money losing hobby.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Steve (profile), 6 Feb 2009 @ 3:33am

    Irony!

    Have you looked at the title of the article they use as an example?

    My boss is very excited by this - we will definitely be looking at this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2009 @ 8:00am

    I believe I understand your use of the term "platform", but having looked at NYT links I do not at this time see the correlation. Much of it seems to be a search engine for the NYT's archives. Other than a portion that appears to be a "forum" of sorts, I did not see anything that relates to current news stories. Perhaps I have missed something on the NYT site, or that this is but a first step in the "platform" direction, with more yet to come.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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