New York Times Offers Free Spotify With Subscription

Bloomberg

The New York Times Co., looking for ways to persuade readers to pay for news, is working with Spotify to give new digital subscribers to the newspaper free access to the world's largest music-streaming service.

Readers who buy one-year online subscriptions to the Times will also get unlimited access to Spotify's premium service, which costs $120 annually, the companies said Wednesday.

The odd-couple partnership — a 165-year-old publisher and a hot internet company that disrupted the music industry — is a natural fit, said Meredith Kopit Levien, the Times' chief revenue officer. The two companies will promote the joint-subscription offer on their platforms and team up on digital advertising, Levien said.

"If you think about the places where people spend their time in media, they spend a lot on music and a lot on news," she said. "So it made for a very positive association."

The Spotify deal highlights how the Times is seeking new ways to keep growing in the wake of the Nov. 8 election, with a goal of reaching 10 million digital subscribers. Its strategy focuses partly on reaching younger readers through new partnerships with online services like Spotify or its recent decision to join Snapchat's Discover platform. In November, the Times topped BuzzFeed and Vice Media in U.S. millennial readers, with 48 million unique visitors, according to ComScore.

"We're beginning to focus much more seriously on how many young people we have engaging with us and how we deepen those relationships," Levien said.

The Times declined to comment on how the companies will share revenue.

The news-and-music subscription costs $5 a week, a 20 percent discount on the retail price for an all-access digital subscription to the Times.

The arrangement is aimed at helping both companies reach broader audiences. Spotify had more than 40 million paying subscribers globally as of last year. The Times just surpassed 3 million paid print and digital subscribers.

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