The New York Times recently reported a quarterly profit of $15.7 million driven, in part, by its success at drawing paying subscribers to its website. The news put some much-needed wind in the sails of an industry navigating the choppiest of waters. But to see a newspaper that may be innovating even faster and more creatively than the Times, and which may point the way toward a brighter future for old-school media outlets, one must gaze across the Atlantic at the London-based Guardian.
Ironically, the Guardian is taking the opposite approach: It’s making the open, pay-wall free approach work by being leaps ahead of everyone else in the digital space. And it’s paying off: Readership on Guardian.co.uk is up by over 40% year over the past two years.