The New York Times thrives off of subscription revenue and print advertising. But at SXSW, its focus has been on its show, “The Weekly,” which airs on FX and Hulu. While the Times isn’t in charge of selling the advertising, it’s an investment in growing their brand, said Sebastian Tomich, the Times’ global head of advertising. Digiday spoke with Tomich at SXSW about the success the Times has had on platforms like podcast apps and newsletters. The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.

Why did you create “The Weekly”? Are you going after TV money, or is it something else?
I think of “The Weekly” very tactfully. It doesn’t play a role in the ad business. We’re not responsible in selling the advertising. I think it has residual effects, though, because when you have a really successful TV show, I’m not selling the inventory around it, but it has a good brand effect, and I think it exposes more people to the Times. Everyone’s instinct is “The Weekly” is the next iteration of “The Daily,” but it’s not that similar — completely different in form and in talent. But you think about “The Daily’ and the impact its had on advertising. I walk into rooms of media agencies now, rooms filled with 20 to 25 year olds, and I ask if they subscribe to the Times, and they’re like, “I see [the Times] sometimes on Instagram and Facebook,” and I ask, “Who here listens to ‘The Daily’?” and everyone raises their hand. “The Daily” is the best brand campaign we’ve ever had, exposed an entire new generation. From a financial perspective, I definitely don’t think it would be the most profitable thing we do. It’s a tough game to win.

  • LinkedIn Icon