The New York Times has formed a team to create a new subscription product focused on parenting, following the success of its stand-alone subscription offerings Cooking and Crosswords.
The parenting team is “crossfunctional, bringing to bear news judgement, technology expertise, and product and design savvy,” according to The New York Times.
Jessica Grose will join The New York Times at the end of the month to become lead editor of the new parenting team. She was previously editor in chief of Lenny Letter.
The Parenting product is the first to come out of the new products and ventures team since The New York Times reorganized it last summer. The team focuses not only on creating new products like Parenting, but now also runs products like Cooking and Crosswords as smaller businesses operating within The New York Times Company with separate subscribers, Alex MacCallum, head of the new products and ventures team, told Publishers Daily.
Youngna Park, who recently joined The New York Times from her role as chief operating officer at Tinybop, will serve as the parenting team's product lead.
Barbara deWilde, The New York Times’ new products and ventures executive creative director, will be the design lead.
David Yee, who previously ran the CMS team at Vox, will lead the technology team, and Vhanya Mackechnie, the Times’ new products program management director, will lead the parenting team's project management efforts.
The new team is made up of parents, who are “especially looking forward to digging into the work and creating a new parenting product,” The New York Times added in a statement.
MacCallum said the new products and ventures team looked at nearly 20 different verticals and evaluated which had the best business opportunities in the space, potential for a subscription product and “a regular need for regular information” on the topic.
“There is a lot of stuff out there [about parenting] but not one trusted resource,” MacCallum added.
The New York Times Company noted in its announcement today the paying subscribers it gained thanks to Cooking and Crosswords.
The company added 139,000 digital-only subscribers in the first quarter of 2018, a 25.5% increase from the same quarter last year. About 40,000 of those new subscribers were from digital membership products, like the Cooking and Crossword apps.
Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times Company, stated earlier this year that the rising number of subscriptions to digital-only products like Cooking and Crosswords “is a clear sign that our subscription-first business model is proving to be an effective way to support our broad journalistic ambitions.”
Digital subscription revenue increased by more than $100 million year-over-year, which represented 60% of total revenue for The New York Times Company in 2017.