The New York Times has relaunched its NYT Cooking site and app as a premium product. The move, which charges subscribers $5 per month, is believed to be part of a wider campaign to build a sustainable subscription-based service.
Subscribers to the print and digital editions of The New York Times will continue to receive free access to the service while potential subscribers will be allowed to try the service out for free for 28 days.
Launched initially as a free service in 2014, NYT Cooking has an audience of 10 million unique users every month, with more than one million email subscribers receiving the niche site’s regular newsletter.
Amanda Rottier, NYT Cooking’s product director told journalists: “When we launched Cooking way back, there was talk of it becoming a subscription product right away, but instead we decided that it was more important for us to really grow our audience and really prove that there was market demand for Cooking before we decided to create a subscription product.”
Putting NYT Cooking behind a paywall is part of a process that The New York Times hopes will deliver upwards of $800 million in digital revenues by 2020.
The New York Times has seen some very real success from their subscription services and can boast of more than 2 million subscribers, including a significant number of people who subscribe to their standalone crossword product.
How much success The New York Times will find by charging a premium for NYT Cooking is debatable. There is a great deal of competition for amongst online recipe sites, with sites like the BBC’s Good Food Guide giving free access to more than 7,000 tried and tested recipes.
With this said, the New York Times only need to tap into a tiny percentage of their current viewers and persuade them to part with their cash to make NYT Cooking’s business really heat up.
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