The New York Times is going all-in on licensing.
With re-branding and grouping of its syndication and licensing arms into The New York Times Licensing Group, the paper is aiming to expand both of those areas with more of its work showing up in aggregation and on radio and podcasts, starting with a licensing deal on Medium and an upcoming TV show based on the Times’ long-running Modern Love column.
There also seems to be an eye toward more work within the magazine format. The Times said in a statement that the licensing expansion will include titles, in addition to its style supplement magazine T, that are “fully or co-branded” with the paper, leaving open the possibility of some sort of new Times glossy. T is already printed in China, Japan, Singapore and Spain.
This new licensing effort looks to be an element of the paper’s plans to expand internationally, which is key to chief executive officer Mark Thompson’s longer-term expectation that the Times will hit 10 million paying subscribers, a number that includes print and digital.
But all of this really boils down to more revenue for the paper, which accrued just under $414 million for its first fiscal quarter, led by “content creation” in partnership with an array of brands and corporations, here and abroad.
“Now, thanks to our new tools, we are able to offer customizable content solutions, using the richness of our current and archival coverage, and all of it accessed quickly and easily — and it’s trackable,” Michael Greenspon, the Times’ manager of the new licensing group and “print innovation,” said of the expansion.
Teaming with established brands and organizations outside the U.S. will surely raise people’s awareness of the paper, while bringing in some cash, and having elements of traceability should prove useful for figuring out where the Times reporting and own content could possibly work better or expand.
There will be syndication and “co-branding” with more brands and broadcasters, as well as aggregators and app developers, which will likely be taking on a new “content feed” offering. Whatever the end result of the licensing expansion, the Times is moving outside more traditional news wire syndication.
It seems like a recent capsule collection with Sacai featuring the Times “Truth” campaign was just the beginning.
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