This week's official launch of the New York Times in Australia permits us to look beyond recent news of layoffs in News Limited and more recently Fairfax to a more interesting and more transformative story developing.  We are watching a clinical study in how some of our large media players are opening the door wide for foreign competition - not just product but workforce too.  How they respond to this considerable challenge may provide pointers to those preparing to take on or work with Amazon and other overseas based 'frienemies" when they launch in Australia later in the year.

How the New York Times got to this point over the past few weeks and months is a fascinating example of how a strong brand can march into a market and grab market share seemingly overnight.

First the New York Times, if my experience is any indication, have been building an online and social subscriber base in Australia for many years.  First with a fax service, then an email newsletter, then apps and finally social media feeds.  Starting this calendar year they started sponsoring their Australian content onto Facebook feeds of Australians.  Shortly after the News Limited announced layoffs they advertised for Australian based staff and started signing up paying Australian subscribers for AUD2 per month for basic access.  Their official launch in Australia this week coincided with the latest round of Fairfax layoffs.

Perfect timing to launch a new product and also recruit a competent and experienced local workforce.  How the remaining Australian-based media respond to the significant new challenger could prove either a warning or a blue print for other businesses looking to grow and thrive in a newly internationally competitive Australian corporate environment.

Digital transformation of the sort we expect to see more of