New York Times launches 2 new paywall products — and rolls out native ads

The New York Times(s NYT) is expanding its paid digital options with two new offerings: NYT Now, which is cheaper than a regular New York Times digital subscription, and Times Premier, which is more expensive. Both will launch on April 2. NYT Now’s mobile apps includes native advertising, and we’ll also start seeing native ads on other Times products later this year.

“We see it as three options,” Denise Warren, EVP for digital products and services, said. “Essential, which is NYT Now; extensive, which is the core subscription package; and exclusive, which is the premier plan.”

NYT Now appLet’s start with the cheap one: NYT Now is the entry-level product that I speculated about last year (and, uh, it includes none of the features I’d envisioned). It’s available on the web and as an iOS app for iPhone and iPod touch, and it will cost $8 every four weeks. (A regular New York Times digital subscription starts at $15 every four weeks for website and smartphone access and goes up to $35 if you want it on both a smartphone and tablet.) It offers a “curated selection” of content from the New York Times, including articles, videos, infographics and slideshows. It also aggregates some content from around the internet.

The NYT Now iPhone app is also the paper’s first native advertising-supported product. The NYT is calling its native ads “Paid Posts,” and they will soon be expanding to the NYT’s other apps. From the release:

“Paid Post units and branded content will begin appearing on NYT Now on April 2 and on The Times’s core news app for iPhone and iPod touch and mobile web site in the coming months. Paid Posts will become available on some of The Times’s other smartphone and tablet apps later this year.

Advertising on NYT Now will consist exclusively of Paid Post programs which include in-line native ad units within the NYT Now news stream that users can click through for full access to Paid Post content.”

NYT Now’s content changes depending on the time of day, “presenting features based upon the native time set on [users’] clock on iPhone or iPod touch. When they return to NYT Now, they are able to quickly see what has changed with developing stories, as well as what new stories have been added since their last session. For The Times’s best long-form journalism, users will be advised on read time and reminded to save the article for later. All stories can be shared via Facebook, Twitter and email.”

Times Premier, meanwhile, is for New York Times junkies. It will cost $45 every four weeks. It includes website, tablet and smartphone access, a feature called Times Insider that “provides a behind-the-scenes look at how The Times newsroom creates the world’s most compelling and comprehensive journalism,” and the following:

  • TimesTalks: Exclusive access to new and archived full-length online videos of Times journalists interviewing leading figures in the arts, politics and fashion.
  • TBooks: Access to two free TBooks each month. TBooks are curated compilations of articles from The Times’s Archives, each on a single subject. TBooks are available for digital download to iOS, Android and Kindle devices, as well as desktops.
  • Crosswords: A four-pack of themed puzzles each month, handpicked for Times Premier subscribers.
  • Family access: The ability to share their Times Premier account with two additional family members.
  • Gift subscriptions: The ability give a 12-week Times All Digital Access gift subscription to up to three friends each year.
  •  NYT Store: Access to The New York Times Store Premier Boutique, featuring exclusive discounts on NYT-branded merchandise.

Other paid digital products are on the way: The NYT says that two more apps, “one focused on food, the other on opinion pieces,” will launch this summer.