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New York Times

New York Times announces $50m investment in global digital expansion


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

April 15, 2016 | 3 min read

The New York Times is readying more than $50m over the next three years in an aggressive expansion of its international digital audience to increase revenue outside its US foothold.

Its move to international waters comes during a time of growing pressure on media around the world, which it saw as an opportunity to cut-through and become an “indispensable leader in global news and opinion”, the NYT wrote.

The company announced the investment in an editorial yesterday (14 April), with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, chief executive Mark Thompson and executive editor Dean Baquet saying in a memo to employees.

“At a time when journalism and independent media around the world are under acute pressure, from forces both financial and political, the New York Times has never had a better opportunity to expand its mission and its reach,” the memo raid.

“Just as the Times became a truly national news organisation in a previous generation, we believe we now have the opportunity to become an indispensable leader in global news and opinion.”

The Times has formed a new team, NYT Global, to lead the effort.

Joe Kahn, an assistant masthead editor for international, will lead NYT Global’s editorial strategy alongside Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, the international president, who will oversee the business operations. Lydia Polgreen, deputy international editor, will become an associate masthead editor and editorial director for NYT Global.

The publisher brings in around 375 million monthly global readers, but as it stands right now just 26.6 per cent of its web traffic comes from outside the US, where it is the sixth biggest media site, according to figures from SimilarWeb reported by the Guardian.

“A team of our top editors and business executives has identified a large, untapped, international audience for Times-style ‘without fear or favour’ journalism’,” the memo said. “While we are already seeing significant growth in consumer revenue from international markets, we believe we can achieve much more by better engaging our non-US readers and reporting for them as well as about them.”

The Times outlined a strategy in October to double its digital revenue to $800m by 2020. Now the company is “setting even more ambitious targets for our international growth,” according to the memo.

“Every part of the company, the newsroom, product and technology, advertising and consumer marketing, and data and analytics, among others, needs to think creatively about attracting and retaining a bigger non-American audience and growing revenue outside the US,” the memo says.

“We intend to cultivate a much larger and deeper readership in core markets abroad and set up teams to pursue cross-market, pan-regional topics we believe the Times can dominate journalistically, appealing to readers and advertisers alike.”

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