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‘Failing’ N. Y. Times Boasts Success in On-Line Revenue

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By Reuters, via New York Post

July 27 2017

The New York Times said on Thursday its digital subscription revenue overtook print advertising revenue for the first time — a key milestone in the 166-year old publisher’s efforts to transform itself into a digital media powerhouse.

The company’s shares rose as much as 7 percent to their highest since the 2008 financial crisis as the publisher also reported better-than-expected quarterly results, aided by fervent marketing, cost-cutting and the so-called “Trump bump”.

The Times has in recent quarters posted strong subscription numbers in its digital business that has helped offset falling print sales.

“We passed 2 million paid digital-only new subscribers, a first for any news organization,” Chief Executive Mark Thompson said on a conference call. “But we’re still determined to move faster in our digital transformation.”

Print advertising revenue in the second quarter fell 10.5 percent and represented 19 percent of the company’s revenue, while digital subscription revenue surged 46 percent to account for just over 20 percent.

The results come off a robust first quarter, when the Times posted its biggest increase in revenue in six years amid a media storm triggered by the US election.

That momentum continued in recent months as subscriptions benefited partly from the “Trump bump” — the effect of President Donald Trump’s attacks on the paper as well as the Times’ coverage of his administration.

The Times has stepped up marketing efforts by offering deep discounts, running a rare television commercial and touting a record of unbiased reporting amid concerns over the prevalence of fake news.

It has also convinced subscribers to pay for non-news products such as daily crossword puzzles and cooking recipes, both of which have boosted digital revenue.

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