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Publishers: A way forward

At Adfreak, we look up to The New York Times for their ability to see the truth and educate a global audience. Inspired by their new 2022 vision to be the subscription every curious English-speaking person needs, we're thinking about our own role in the marketing world.

As digital marketing experts, we are often asked, How can a company balance a subscription-based business model with advertising revenue?

The answer lies in creating a symbiotic relationship between these elements. By offering valuable content that attracts subscribers, we simultaneously create attractive opportunities for advertisers to reach an engaged audience. Let's share some of our basic principles for achieving this balance.

Subscribers' trust is our guiding light

With the insight of The New York Times to have over 10 million subscribers, our goal is also to build strong direct relationships with our audience. It opens doors for meaningful contacts between companies and a passionate target group.

With a commitment to innovative ad formats and first-party data, this strategy points the way for future marketing trends.

The revolution in digital advertising

Companies like the NYT are redefining the advertising experience by integrating advertising opportunities on platforms like The Athletic and NYT Games. They prioritize a premium experience that does not disturb the user. With new verticals and formats, such as newsletters and talent-driven IP, they create unique opportunities for brands to connect with sports moments and customer segments.

This strategy involves a balancing act between being innovative and non-invasive, a challenge that every digital marketer should consider in their strategy planning.

Tools for an improved user experience

To create a non-intrusive ad experience, companies like NYT use A/B testing and first-party data to understand user behaviors. Their approach includes:

  • Leveraging first-party data to create over 160 audience segments.
  • Perspective Targeting – a solution based on article content and topics.
  • The use of Google Ad Manager to target the right ads to the right audience.

Combining data-driven insight and creative customization, these methods are critical to creating an engaging and effective advertising strategy.


As digital marketers at Adfreak, we see this development as an important lesson. Understanding and implementing a balanced advertising strategy that is both engaging and non-intrusive is becoming increasingly important. By adopting similar methods, we can offer our clients innovative and effective solutions that are at the forefront of digital marketing.