NYT Audio’s Curated Listener Journeys

Published 26 May 2023

1 min read

After a year and a half in beta testing (see Pop Culture Round-Up: Autumn 2021), The New York Times (NYT) has launched The New York Times Audio, a dedicated app for audio journalism and storytelling.

Hosting narrated long-form articles, short news formats like The Daily, and established commentary podcasts such as The Ezra Klein Show, NYT Audio will be home to the news organisation’s growing audio empire. In recent years, the NYT has been expanding this part of its business through acquisitions, including audio journalism app Audm, Serial Productions (the studio behind the format-defining podcast Serial) and sports news outlet The Athletic, which has more than 50 podcasts. While NYT’s existing podcasts will remain available on audio distribution platforms like Spotify, content such as audio versions of its articles and new shows will be exclusively available to NYT subscribers via NYT Audio.

To aid content discovery, NYT Audio editors share daily refreshed playlists of a handful of topical pieces at the top of the app as its “new audio front page”. Leading each day’s drop is the app-exclusive new show The Headlines, featuring the three biggest news items of the day in under 10 minutes. This is followed by an episode of The Daily, before listeners are auto-played a variety of content from across the audio catalogue, such as print articles read aloud and contextualised by their writers, or dinner recipes from NYT Cooking.

Swelling content catalogues are a barrier to engagement: 49% of Brits report having spent so long looking for video content to stream that they didn’t end up watching anything (The Independent, 2021). By auto-playing daily changing formats, NYT Audio provides a reprieve from choice paralysis in the busy content discovery landscape.

Hosting narrated long-form articles, short news formats like The Daily, and established commentary podcasts such as The Ezra Klein Show, NYT Audio will be home to the news organisation’s growing audio empire. In recent years, the NYT has been expanding this part of its business through acquisitions, including audio journalism app Audm, Serial Productions (the studio behind the format-defining podcast Serial) and sports news outlet The Athletic, which has more than 50 podcasts. While NYT’s existing podcasts will remain available on audio distribution platforms like Spotify, content such as audio versions of its articles and new shows will be exclusively available to NYT subscribers via NYT Audio.

To aid content discovery, NYT Audio editors share daily refreshed playlists of a handful of topical pieces at the top of the app as its “new audio front page”. Leading each day’s drop is the app-exclusive new show The Headlines, featuring the three biggest news items of the day in under 10 minutes. This is followed by an episode of The Daily, before listeners are auto-played a variety of content from across the audio catalogue, such as print articles read aloud and contextualised by their writers, or dinner recipes from NYT Cooking.

Swelling content catalogues are a barrier to engagement: 49% of Brits report having spent so long looking for video content to stream that they didn’t end up watching anything (The Independent, 2021). By auto-playing daily changing formats, NYT Audio provides a reprieve from choice paralysis in the busy content discovery landscape.