NY Times: All the news you can’t see below this ad

The New York Times revised its web site today to make room for a new ad format that takes up one-third of the visual real estate. First up, Apple, with big sound, crayonish animation and flipping pages. We asked our colleague Jim Knipper, an internet display guru, for the technical term. “That’s called a big-ass ad,” Jim said.

The trend continues NYT’s stretch to sell more of its sacred news space — back on Jan. 5 NYT sold ads on the cover of its print paper for the first time. We’re conflicted. From a media buy, the new, large, beautiful formats are sure to get noticed. But as a news consumer, the only next step we see in making these ads more intrusive is if they give us electric shocks as we sit in front of our keyboard or flip through the paper. As news organizations lose traffic and ad revenue to the web, and then within the web lose even more to the long tail of niche web sites and consumer-generated content, they must try new tricks to keep advertisers engaged.

So bully for you, Apple. Now where did we put that news?

4 thoughts on “NY Times: All the news you can’t see below this ad

  1. Ben, the NY Times makes me crazy. I used to pay for monthly access to a program called “Prime” which gave access to editorials and other materials in real time.

    They dropped that program because they wanted to monetize the site via Google (and other) advertisements. Guess that hasn’t worked out too well for them.

    Yet I still have to login to read the paper. And I get the pseudo Facebook Community bar at the top too.

    Context Advertiser? Online Newspaper? Online Community?

    They drive me crazy.

  2. Matt and Garret — I’m all for ads. They’re a fair deal; we need advertisers to subsidize the 90% of the cost of our content. And yes, I work in the ad industry so may be biased in favor of ads…

    But man, when one starts letting advertising take over content entirely, one is playing a risky game. I think NYT has gone too far. I hope they’re charging Apple huge CPMs for this, because if it carries on too long I and others will start taking our eyeballs elsewhere. I barely can find the news on a laptop now at NYT.

  3. I don’t like it – but on a desktop with a wheel mouse – I can handle it. Also – for all its flaws – I want the Times to be there.

    And one level in – there’s still Khoi Vinh’s excellent site design.

    I think the Times is experimenting in good faith. Call me naive.

    jonathan soroko

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