The New York Times is launching a freestanding audio-focused mobile app that will be home to its podcasts and a variety of other curated content. The company says the New York Times Audio app will help listeners engage with the latest news, ideas and stories that matter to them.
“New York Times Audio will provide an accessible and authoritative way to understand the world, pulling from Times podcasts, Times articles, premier magazine publishers like New York magazine and Rolling Stone, and new audio formats from The Times newsroom and more. The product will also feature the archive of This American Life, encompassing 25 years’ worth of episodes from the iconic show that pioneered a new form of audio narrative journalism,” it said in the announcement.
New York Times Audio will be available as an iPhone app in a private beta. Starting today, it is inviting a select number of users to sign up for a chance to participate in the private beta.
In addition to the new app, the Times has also begun experimenting with featuring audio stories in its main news app. Last month, it began experimenting with ‘Listen,’ a tab in its news app that features a selection of signature Times stories read aloud by the reporters who wrote them.
Audio has become a bigger part of the Times’ reach during the past few years. The company says it now reaches 20 million listeners each month via audio. That includes the four-year old daily news podcast The Daily. Last year the paper also acquired Serial Productions for $25 million and Audm for $8.6 million, and formed a creative and strategic alliance with This American Life.
Audio was one of the hottest revenue segments for the New York Times in 2020. The company said podcast ad revenue increased 24% last year to a record $36 million. That compared to $29 million in podcast revenue a year earlier. And it had better than expected revenue growth during the second quarter of the year, which it attributes in part to the growing appeal of its podcasts. CEO Meredith Kopit Levien told analysts in August they are also continuing to explore the potential of subscription audio.
Request an invite to the new audio app HERE.