Visitors can now read Times editorial on destinations from Scotland to Nicaragua, then use an integrated Expedia engine to search out and buy flights, hotels, cruises and packages without leaving the Times site. The Times and Expedia are sharing the revenue generated, although exact terms were not disclosed.
Revenue not the motivation
It's not the first move along those lines for the Times; visitors could already buy theater and movie tickets by clicking links on the paper's site. But e-commerce revenue is not a big motivation, Times executives said.
"We have two major revenue streams, our advertising revenue and our subscriber revenue through Times Select," said Vivian Schiller, senior VP-general manager, NYTimes.com. "The most important thing for us, especially in terms of our advertising base, is to grow our audience, get them coming back more often and get them to look at more pages."
Jonathan Landman, deputy managing editor at the Times, put it this way: "We're not going to be Amazon or eBay."
More changes since redesign
Expedia's addition to NYTimes.com is the latest in a series of changes to the site since a major redesign last April. "We've been moving through a very aggressive road map," Ms. Schiller said. "You'll see a lot more to come now that we've acquired Baseline, which has a deep database." The company bought Baseline StudioSystems, an online database and research service for information on the film and TV businesses, for $35 million in August.
The Times site attracted nearly 12.5 million unique visitors last month, up from 11.6 million in November 2005 and 9.5 million in November 2004, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. For its part, Expedia drew 12.1 million unique visitors last month, down from 13.3 million in November 2005 and 14.2 million in November 2004.