New York Times gets serious with audio

As newspaper companies get more serious about audio, the New York Times has beta-launched a new app called New York Times Audio.

The American newspaper company is inviting people to join the Beta Test group.

Head of the NYT’s Audio Products, Alex Rainert has posted on social media:

“Today’s a huge day for our team as we’re sharing our new app, NYT Audio, w/ our 1st cohort of external Beta testers. This moment, when the work goes from being a hypothesis to being a product in people’s hands, is one of the most thrilling parts of creating new things.”

The NYT has been strengthening the audio side of the business by acquiring audio companies and investing heavily in new podcasts, but up until now the company has used third party podcast providers to publish its offerings. The move signals the company plans to gather more direct data about its audience in the next stage of its expansion plans.

The NYT’s The Daily news podcast is consistently at the top of most podcast rankers. ARN represents The Daily here in Australia.

The app is curated by Times journalists and editors, and contains audio features in addition to podcasts.

The company is also teaming with other well known publications such as Rolling Stone and the New York Magazine to present their content on the ‘Magazine Stand’ section of its new app.

Listeners will begin on the today screen, which will surface current time sensitive podcasts, moving from hard news at the top of the feed to softer news further down. The app will also allow users to browse for their favourite content types and to favorite content to return to updated episodes easily.

The app is currently free to use, although other NYT print content is behind pay walls.  Whether it is thne publisher’s plans to move its app behind its paywall eventually is unknown.


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