The New York Times yesterday announced a major redesign of its website, NYTimes.com, with the planned enhancements to be introduced over several months. For advertisers, the redesign provides new opportunities to reach a more engaged audience, with new features - particularly enhanced video offerings - encouraging readers to spend more time exploring the site, the company said.
The redesign, done in collaboration with Avenue A / Razorfish, includes a new homepage and section front pages; new ways to personalize the site; enhanced search capability; an expanded set of navigation tools throughout the site; and more original video.
In short, NYTimes.com will become more like a news-focused portal, giving AOL, Yahoo and Google a run for their money: It is the most popular newspaper site in the U.S. and had an audience of 12.7 million unique users in February 2006, according to Nielsen NetRatings.
The redesign also offers advertisers larger and more dynamic ad positions on the homepage and throughout the site; streaming pre-roll video ads within a new video player on the homepage, section fronts and select article pages; special advertising opportunities around new sections such as "My Times," "Video" and "Most Popular."
"There's just going to be more inventory for video [ads]," Alyson Racer, VP sales at NYTimes.com, told ClickZ, adding, "You hear it across the web; there's a thirst for this kind of inventory." She said Lexus and AT&T are running pre-roll ads within the site's embedded video content.
The Times will promote its site redesign with a trade and consumer marketing campaign that includes direct mail and advertisements in trade media publications, in the New York Times newspaper and on NYTimes.com.
Among the site enhancements and features is increased personalization with "My Times," in private beta until later in April, providing readers with the ability to create personalized pages with RSS feeds from the Times and other sites. Readers can enroll as charter members of "My Times."
The new "Video" section will feature more original Times video reporting and will enable users to search and view all video content available on NYTimes.com. Video will also be integrated on the homepage and throughout the site with a new embedded video player.
In a letter to readers, NYTimes.com Editor in Chief Leonard M. Apcar wrote, "Five years ago, when the prior design debuted, multimedia was in its infancy and video quality was poor. Now, video and multimedia are fundamental elements of our Web presentation. We now have video presentations prominently displayed on our home page and a tab at the top of the page to take you directly to all our video offerings."
A guided tour is available to explore the site.