Thursday closed another chapter in the history of publisher apps. The New York Times shut its NYT Now mobile app, ending a two-year, heavily funded experiment to turn young readers into paying subscribers. The Times had created a breezily written app for iOS that delivered trimmed-down stories for $8 a month, half the price of the cheapest digital subscription.
But even after dropping the price to nothing, it fell short of the Times’ expectations. The world had moved on (largely to Facebook) and Times had moved with it. And the tightly controlled world of apps proved tough to crack, even for the Times.