The New York Times & LinkedIn Link Up

Yesterday, LinkedIn announced a new partnership with The New York Times. The basis of the partnership? Greater targeting for both users and advertisers.

LinkedIn members browsing the Business and Technology sections of NYTimes.com will now have the option to view highly targeted related news stories based on non-identifiable profile attributes.

How Does It Work?

LinkedIn will power the dynamically-generated custom headline feature of NYTimes.com in order to serve the five most recent news articles based on certain LinkedIn member attributes, which include industry, company size, job function, seniority, gender and location.

If you’re browsing through Business or Technology articles on NYTimes.com and are not logged in to your LinkedIn profile, you will be prompted to “Get Headlines About Your Industry”. Here is a screen capture of this prompt:

When I click to activate, I am taken to the partnership page on NYTimes.com where I can join or sign in to LinkedIn. Once logged in, I am served the five most recent and relevant articles based on my profile information:

You will see that these “more targeted” articles each differ from those served prior to me logging in to my LinkedIn account. After logging in, I am served articles more relevant to Technology. This is somewhat interesting to see as the industry specified in my LinkedIn profile is Marketing and Advertising. Apparently, this has been identified as the most relevant category based on my specified industry. Other profile attributes, however, may also be coming into play.

Once logged in to my profile, I also have the option to share articles on NYTimes.com with contacts in the LinkedIn community.

Who Benefits from This Partnership?

Well, LinkedIn for one. Increased brand awareness on, and direct association with, the most popular newspaper website in the U.S. will likely help to boost LinkedIn’s current user base, which stands at nearly 25 million.

NYTimes.com could also experience an increased user base. For most professionals, it is likely that they have their go-to news sources and that loyalty will trump the benefit which could be experienced from this new partnership. For some LinkedIn members who currently get their news from sources other than NYTimes.com, however, the appeal of a more targeted and social browsing experience may outweigh any loyalty they have toward other news sites.

In addition to an enhanced user base, The Times is set to benefit from increased ad revenue. Given the popularity of LinkedIn, this more targeted article-serving approach is an enticing option for advertisers to explore when deciding how and where to allocate budget.

The potential for a greater number of advertisers and increased ad revenue is the most appealing part of this partnership for NYTimes.com. It is interesting to see how The Times is increasingly embracing not only the advantages of the evolving Web, but also the considerable opportunity available for ad revenue generation from their highly authoritative and popular site.

Last September, I reported that The New York Times was killing their TimeSelect program, a program which was designed to increase subscription-based revenue by blocking portions of the site from non-members. After two years, The Times realized that the potential for ad-based revenue far outweighed that generated from TimeSelect.

They also realized the potential for a greater user base by opening up their site. In September, the NYTimes.com had 13 million visitors, as reported. In June, according to Nielsen Online, NYTimes.com had 17.7 million unique visitors.

Finally, for those of us who utilize both LinkedIn and NYTimes.com, we, the users, will benefit from this alliance. Given the commitment of LinkedIn to uphold the privacy of its user base, this appears to be a win-win-win situation, at least for the time being.