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Why the New York Times needs to think less about products and more about relationships

on November 23, 2013

Gigaom

Over at the Nieman Journalism Lab, media analyst Ken Doctor has a good overview of what the New York Timeshas in mind for “Paywall 2.0,” or the future of its subscription access plan — namely, micro-paywalls around specific topic areas or content verticals such as food, real estate and opinion. This is all well and good, but one thing made me stop short: namely, the fact that the paper refuses to call what it is doing a “membership” program, but insists on talking about it as a “premium product” offering instead. This is a mistake.

Why is it a mistake? Because personal relationships are what drive an increasing amount of media-related consumption and activity now — not products, but people. This trend has been fueled by social media such as Twitter (s twtr) and Facebook (s fb), but it wasn’t created by them. It’s an innate human desire, and…

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