New York Times preps London digital hub

The New York Times is building a digital division in London as part of a wider bid to embrace online publishing and boost revenues from nascent media channels.

A new office located in Bloomsbury is to house the newspaper’s European digital team as well as be the hub for its international editions, according to the Guardian.

Up to 100 staff will man the outpost, the report added, with some coming from the publisher’s Paris office and others its teams in the US. The move, however, does not mean its Paris base – which has long served as the focal point of its pan-European offering – will be axed. London is simply believed to be a more appropriate location to spur growth across the region.

By creating a digital hub in Europe, the business could look to speed up the transferral of innovations from the US where it is making a more concerted push for emerging channels. Much of the company’s digital plans were leaked in an internal report earlier this year.

A more experimental way to distribute content, repackaging old articles in new formats and a follow button for reporters and columnists were some of the the measures the report claimed would help speed up its transformation into a digital-first newspaper.

The investments aim to kickstart stuttering advertising revenues. Declining print sales has heaped the pressure on the Time’s digital offering to spur growth, leading to the creation of a digital products division in October.

Digital ad sales hit $38.2m in the latest quarter, more than a quarter of total ad sales. Hiowever, it was not enough to have a major impact on total sales, which increased 0.8 per cent to $464.7m

To spur the diigtial drive, the Times is to serve more native adverts, sponsorships and video in a bid to lift advertising revenues. Just 10 per cent of the newspaper’s digital advertising revenue came from mobile ads in its third quarter despite more than half its digital traffic flowing from mobile devices.

The New York Times was unable to provide additional information on the digital division by the time this article was published.

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