New York Times launches dedicated listening app, NYT Audio

The New York Times, producer of leading news podcast The Daily, and owner of Serial Productions and voice narration provider Audm, has launched NYT Audio, a dedicated mobile listening app.

The new smartphone product is unfortunately available only for the iOS iPhone platform. We keenly await a proper launch that includes Android.

There is some evident confusion about the app’s exact brand; it is “NYT Audio” in the iOS app store, and “New York Times Audio” in press releases.

The content is broadly described as “exclusive shows, dispatches and audio articles to keep listeners informed and inspired every day.” More specifically, a few expected features:

  • One-day-early episodes of This American Life (a Serial Productions show)
  • A “daily playlist of news and ideas that brings you the essential things to listen to each weekday morning”
  • “A range of narrated articles from The New York Times and other top publishers.”
  • A new short-form production called Shorts: “Inspiration for what to cook, watch, read and more. Get recipe ideas, TV and book recommendations.”
  • “Reporter Reads” — narrated by the writers
  • “The Magazine Stand” — journalist-narrated magazine articles from Audm.

The (iOS) app is freely available to New York Times subscribers, thus positioned more as a customer acquisition and retention product than a brand extension effort. We also note that non-subscribers can subscribe to the audio app by itself.

“We’re thrilled to introduce more people to a new way of experiencing The New York Times,” said Stephanie Preiss, senior vice president and general manager, Audio. “Audio journalism has the power to bring stories to life, and our app now allows our audience to take The Times with them — on dog walks, while commuting — in moments when reading isn’t an option.

Paula Szuchman, director of Audio, added, “With the launch of ‘The Daily’ in 2017, The Times fundamentally changed the podcast world, inventing a new form of audio journalism. Our new app is reordering the status quo yet again.”

Brad Hill