The New York Times said on Thursday that it would make a slate of newsletters available only to subscribers, including new offerings from John McWhorter, Kara Swisher and other writers.
The Times, which has produced free newsletters for 20 years, now has about 50 newsletters, which are read by 15 million people each week. Eleven of those will become subscriber-only, alongside seven new newsletters, said Alex Hardiman, The Times’s chief product officer.
“We have to make sure that we’re adding much more distinctive value to what it means to feel like you are a subscriber,” she said in an interview. “So a lot of the work now is about making sure that every single time you experience The Times as a subscriber, you know it and you feel it.”
The Times has been devoting more resources to converting readers of its apps and website into paying subscribers. The company has eight million subscribers and 100 million registered users, who provide their email address but do not pay for a subscription, it reported in its most recent financial results.
Ms. Hardiman said Times readers who are not subscribers will still be able to read dozens of free newsletters, including The Morning and DealBook.
Existing newsletters that will become available only to subscribers include On Politics, Well, On Tech With Shira Ovide and Parenting, as well as newsletters from Opinion columnists. The change will start rolling out in early September, a Times spokeswoman said.
The seven new newsletters will be written by Peter Coy, a former Bloomberg Businessweek journalist; Ms. Swisher, a tech journalist who writes and hosts a podcast for The Times’s Opinion section; Jane Coaston, the host of “The Argument,” a Times Opinion podcast; Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist and writer; the cultural critic Jay Caspian Kang; Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest; and Mr. McWhorter, an author and Columbia University linguist.
Kathleen Kingsbury, the editor of The Times’s Opinion section, said she had brought on board writers who would expand on the current expertise and coverage from Opinion columnists.
“We looked for diversity in all forms to round out the offering, so that readers found something that either touched upon one of their interests, was a voice that would intrigue them and surprise them, would offer challenging arguments,” she said.
Newsletters are experiencing renewed interest. Substack, a newsletter platform, has enticed big-name writers with six-figure deals to start their own subscription newsletters through the service. Facebook started its own newsletter subscription service, Bulletin, in June. Twitter acquired the newsletter company Revue earlier this year.
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