More than a third of all traffic to The New York Times generates from a mobile device, said Alexandra Hardiman, The Times' Director of Mobile Products at the 5th Tablet and App Summit. And when the paper live-streamed the recent presidential debates, 40% of streamers watched on a mobile device.
Mobile has hence become a key part of the paper’s business, and The Times is putting a great deal of attention into cross-platform usage and mobile-first design, Hardiman said. The fact that tablet use is high in evenings is a very exciting prospect for a news organisation without a broadcast operation, she added, as it is a time of day that papers usually struggle to reach readers.
Tablet and smartphone access is also a key element of The Times’ digital subscription model that has “re-balanced our business,” Hardiman said. The New York Times had 566k paid digital subscribers in Q3, an increase of 11% from the preceding quarter. Perhaps more surprisingly, Hardiman specified that the paper’s print home delivery circulation also increased.