I read in today’s Financial Times how the New York Times has struck a deal with LinkedIn. This is just a further example of the New York Times becoming more social (see our previous post here), and for the FT this is a sign of a significant change in the traditional media industry:
The deal, between the New York Times and LinkedIn, the largest online social network for professionals, is one of most far-reaching attempts yet by a traditional media company to tap into the booming popularity of online networks to super-charge its own services.
The deal means that personal profile data entered into LinkedIn will be used to make the content and advertising an individual sees on the New York Times site targeted to their industry, country, interests of profession.
This is a really interesting example for two reasons:
It shows how traditional media and publishing firms are having to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by social media and social networks. They need to change the way that they offer their content and be prepared for people wanting to interact with it in different ways. The barriers between the social and the editorial are blurring.
It highlights a significant benefit of social networks – the depth and richness of data that is gathered and kept by these sites. That the New York Times has struck a deal to use LinkedIn profile data to target advertising shows just how detailed this data is. With people adding and contributing to their social networks on an increasingly regular basis, the quality of this data will only heighten.
I expect us to see similar arrangements and innovations that build on these two reasons in the future. Social networks will seek to monetise the depth and quality of data they have gathered and traditional media and publishing firms are looking for new ways to target their readers. It would seem that a pairing of the two is a good solution and maybe the New York Times and LinkedIn will show us how good it could be.