The app will get new functionality while the newspaper’s main paid app also gets a substantial makeover.
NYT Now was launched a year ago as a low-cost alternative to The New York Times mobile app, offering subscribers access to a selection of the most important stories, as well as videos, infographics and slide shows from the newspaper for $8 per month.
Among other goals, it was intended to help the newspaper recruit more digital subscribers in the millennial demo, by offering a low-price alternative to a full digital sub. A sub offering access to the Web site and smartphone apps costs $15 per month.
However, the NYT Now app ended up gathering around 20,000 subscribers, according to Capital New York -- a small fraction of the newspaper’s total 900,000 digital subscribers.
The decision to make NYT Now free is the latest in a series of reversals for the newspaper’s mobile strategy. Another subscription app, NYT Opinion, offered a stand-alone subscription to all NYT’s opinion coverage for $6 per month. Judged unsuccessful, it closed in October of last year.
Last September, the newspaper also launched a new, free NYT Cooking app, offering recipes, tips and how-to guides drawn from its archives. At the other end of the spectrum, the NYT is still offering Times Premier, which costs $45 for every four weeks and offers expanded content offerings, including the “Times Insider,” which provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the newsroom creates content.