The New York Times joined Snapchat Discover Monday, joining dozens of other publishers — including The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and MTV — that create editions for the messaging app that’s popular with young people. But the Times is first and foremost a subscription business, with more revenue coming from readers than advertising. So how does it justify launching a channel on Snapchat Discover, which doesn’t have a subscription mechanism or way to drive readers back to its own properties?
The answer is that the Times is keen on building the publication as a daily habit and sees a parallel with Snapchat, which is also habit-forming with its users. The Snapchat edition also checks other boxes the Times has identified in its recent internal report, “Journalism That Stands Apart,” as important goals: being more relevant to younger readers, doing more visual journalism, being less stodgy.
“We are very focused on building a subscription business, but we see this as a way to build new prospects longer term,” said Rebecca Grossman-Cohen, vp of consumer marketing at the Times.