New York Times to offer subscribers free Spotify access

FILE PHOTO -  A taxi passes by in front of The New York Times head office in New York, February 7, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

US-NEW-YORK-TIMES-SPOTIFY:New York Times to offer subscribers free Spotify access

(Reuters) - The New York Times Co said on Wednesday that readers taking a one-year digital subscription would also get free access to music streaming service Spotify, as the newspaper company looks for new ways to attract paying readers.

The Times' move comes amid publishers' struggle to find readers willing to pay for their daily news fix rather than turn to the barrage of websites and mobile apps delivering quick news for free.

This shift in readers' tastes has also led to a prolonged decline in print advertising and an industry-wide shift toward the digital medium.

New York Times readers who sign up for a one-year, "all-access" digital subscription, which costs $5 per week, will also get free access to Spotify's premium service, which costs $120 per year, the Times said.

The Times has enjoyed a steady increase in digital subscriptions in recent months, although overall revenue continues to fall due to the decline in print subscriptions.

The company's print advertising revenue dipped 15.8 percent in 2016, while digital advertising sales climbed 5.9 percent.

However, the Times' latest quarter, which ended in December, was its best in five years for net new digital subscriptions, helped in part by then-Presidential nominee Donald Trump's attacks on the newspaper and other media outlets, accusing them of reporting on false information.

The Times declined to comment on how it would share revenue with Spotify, one of Europe's most valuable tech start-ups.

(Reporting by Sai Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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