Starting this Thursday, the Times will provide all its content—articles, videos, photo slideshows, and blog posts—to subscribers who use Flipboard, while nonsubscribers will get a free sample of certain articles. Denise Warren, who runs the NYT‘s website, said the deal made sense for the newspaper because it is promoting digital subscriptions, and an analysis of its readership showed that 20 percent of the paper’s subscribers use third-party apps like Flipboard to consume content. “We realized that we have an opportunity to enable this kind of access for paying subscribers, and we thought it was something we ought to try and see how users react to it,” Warren said.
Smart move. I wonder, though, if intermediaries like Flipboard are going to become this generation’s “newspapers.” The web was about disintermediation and allowing people to go directly to the source, but when there’s so many sources to choose from, choice becomes very difficult. Intermediaries become helpful again for readers.