In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The newspaper launches a site featuring daily deals from its advertisers.
The New York Times Co. is the latest company looking to nab a piece of the daily deal market with TimesLimited, a site that features offers from New York Times advertisers. Each offer is available only for a limited time and in limited quantities, according to the deal web site.
Anyone can enter an e-mail to sign up to receive deals on lifestyle products, travel, food and live entertainment.
The New York Times did not issue a statement or press release to promote the launch, but TimesLimited does have a Facebook page and Twitter account.
According to its Facebook page, which for now has only one fan, TimesLimited will offer “access to exclusive products and experiences.”
The site asks consumers to enter their e-mail addresses to receive a confirmation message with a link to subscribe; several hours after an Internet Retailer reporter submitted an address, however, no subscription e-mail had arrived.
The New York Times is yet another example of how newspapers and magazines are becoming more like e-commerce operators. Behind the convergence of news and e-retail is the fact that consumers are getting more of their information on the web and less from print publications. 41% of respondents in a January poll by the Pew Center for the People and the Press say they get most of their news from the Internet, up from 35% in 2009. Meanwhile, 31% say they get most of their news from a print newspaper, down from 32% in 2009.
Where readers go, advertisers follow. U.S. online ad spending will rise 10.5% this year to reach $28.5 billion, and it will continue to rise each year for the next few years to reach $40.5 billion by 2014, according to research firm eMarketer. The company said in December that online ad spending would surpass newspaper advertising for the first time ever in 2010, making Internet advertising second only to TV among measured media.
The New York Times daily deal approach, which uses offers only from its advertisers, seems to be geared to boosting its advertising revenue. The media company may have a tough time, however, as the daily deal market is becoming ever more crowded. In fact, there are so many such sites today that daily deal site aggregators such as Dibbsly, Shopway and The Dealmap are emerging to help consumers sort through all the deals on offer. Such sites are designed to deliver relevant daily deals from scores of sites to customers’ inboxes. Dibbsly said in November it had unearthed as many as 150 daily deal sites. A more recent estimate, from The Dealmap, counts some 300 unique daily-deal services in the United States.