Feb 5, 2019

Exclusive: NYT's free student subscription plan reaches 3 million

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The New York Times will announce today that more than 3 million U.S. students now receive free access to nytimes.com, thanks to more than 30,000 contributions from its readers.

Why it matters: It's the company's way of investing in the next generation of NYT readers, which it thinks will help it retain current subscribers. "We already have high retention, but I think this could make it almost bullet proof," says Hannah Yang, head of subscription growth.

Details: The donations come from nearly 75 countries and are made possible through its sponsor a student subscription program that launched in 2017.

  • The access is given to 4,000 schools around the country, including really large school districts in Chicago and Miami-Dade to smaller districts in rural America. So far, schools in all 50 states have been given access.
  • Some donors are recurring, but most are one-timers. One donor anonymously donated $1 million in 2017. Not including that donation, each donor gives about $50 on average.

The big picture: Yang says while many subscribers pay for NYT to read it for themselves, many others aim to support what they consider to be good traditional journalism now and for future generations.

One weird twist: The subscriptions are awarded on a first-ask, first-serve basis, as well as for those in need financially. So far, the company has been able to provide subscriptions to everyone who has asked, although when some schools in certain parts of the country inquired about subscriptions and realized they could access them for free, Yang says they were skeptical.

"Some schools in some parts country are not going to want this ... There's a skepticism, [with] people asking us, what's our ulterior motive? It was harder to give this away than [we] expected."
— Hannah Yang

What's next? The Times eventually wants to open up the program internationally.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,429,437 — Total deaths: 82,074 — Total recoveries: 300,767Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 398,785 — Total deaths: 12,893 — Total recoveries: 22,083Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Wisconsin won't be declaring a winner tonight

A Wisconsin poll worker wearing PPE guides people through a line outside of a polling place. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13 due to a back-and-forth on absentee voting amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: Democratic Gov. Tony Evers attempted to delay the state's election in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in polling places. The Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned his order Monday and said the election must be held on Tuesday as originally scheduled.

Trump hits WHO on coronavirus: "They should've known"

Trump briefs reporters at the White House on April 7. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump claimed at a press briefing on Tuesday that the World Health Organization "probably" knew about the dangers of the novel coronavirus pandemic months before the agency sounded the alarm.

The big picture: The WHO declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30 — 10 days after the CDC confirmed the first case in the U.S. and 11 days after South Korea announced its first case. Chinese officials told the WHO's China office about cases of COVID-19 on Dec. 31.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health