Following up from the earlier post on the proliferation of apps, especially by Facebook and New York Times, I recently read that NYT is shuttering the Op-Ed app, along with a new range of job cuts.
Matthew Ingram wrote a good post about this on Gigaom. As I argued in the earlier post, I think this goes to show that you can’t create apps out of thin air. NYT’s Op-Ed content, as good as it is, is not enough to justify a stand-alone app.
There are clearly more innovative ways to monetize. A recent example was this story about Esquire putting a single story behind a paywall. NYT has huge advantages that most media outlets don’t have (for example, they’re probably the only media outfit that still has an editor dedicated only to corrections, and they sometimes run corrections 50 years later, like with the invention of spaceflight). They should monetize that trust and offer a full package, not try to break up content that is equally provided elsewhere, in smaller and smaller pieces.