New York Times Embedding Fake News Stories

NYT adds "Native Advertising," or "storylike ads" that run alongside actual news

The New York Times announced its quarterly earnings Thursday, which continue to reflect the downward trajectory of the newspaper industry. The Times reported a continued ad decline despite an increase of digital subscriptions

As a reflection of the unfortunate reality facing newspapers in 2014, the “paper of record” will now embed fake stories, sponsored by advertisers, into its news content:

Recently, a new advertising team introduced native advertising to the Times website. Also known as branded content, native advertising is a type of ad in which marketers create storylike ads that run alongside news articles. The company also invested heavily in new ventures that will start being introduced in the spring, including a mobile news product and a food news offering.

The Times is spinning its earnings report as a positive, since the rate of decline is less than in previous reporting cycles:

At the Times Company, print advertising revenue dropped 1.6 percent during the last three months of 2013, compared with the same quarter a year earlier (excluding the extra week). Digital revenue was down 0.2 percent. Those declines were substantially smaller than the quarterly drops during the first half of 2013. Digital advertising revenue, though a crucial growth area, has declined in recent quarters as the market has matured and a glut of supply has created downward pressure on pricing.