Using a third party to distribute its digital content to subscribers for the first time -- as The New York Times will start doing on Thursday on the "magazine-style news aggregation engine
Flipboard" -- is a smart move, according to Matthew Ingram.
For one, "it at least gets Times content in front of more people (potentially) and that could give them an incentive to subscribe," he writes.
"It’s possible that the Flipboard deal won’t really produce much in the way of incremental revenue for the Times, at least not in the short term, but at least it will provide one thing: more data on what readers want and when and where they want it," he adds.
"And at some point, the newspaper could decide to open up even more of its content to readers through Flipboard and other venues — the way that online-journalism veteran Steve Outing says they should — and take a gamble on ad revenue from that new source as a way of bridging the digital gap newspapers are suffering from."