Thursday, May 4, 2017
NYTimes Reports Substantial Digital Growth
The New York Times Company reported substantial growth in its digital business on Wednesday, as new subscriptions helped drive gains in circulation and digital advertising revenue increased.
But the company continues to face stiff headwinds on the print side. Print advertising revenue fell 18 percent, driving a 7 percent decline in total advertising revenue for the quarter.
The company said that its digital advertising revenue rose 19 percent, to $50 million, in the first quarter, which ended in late March. It also added 308,000 net digital-only news subscriptions — the most of any quarter in its history — helping to propel an 11 percent increase in circulation revenue.
The Times counted nearly 2 million digital-only subscriptions for its news products; including subscriptions to its crossword product, it has 2.2 million total digital-only subscriptions.
There were other positive signs for the company. Digital advertising revenue represented 38 percent of the company’s total advertising revenue, compared with 30 percent in the first quarter last year. Circulation revenue from digital-only news subscriptions increased 40 percent, to $73 million.
The company, however, expects second-quarter growth in the number of digital-only news subscriptions to slow compared with the previous two quarters as the effects of the so-called Trump bump — subscriptions spurred by coverage of President Trump, and his attacks on the paper — begin to wear off.
Over all, the company reported total revenue of $399 million for the quarter, up 5 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016. Its net income was about $13 million, compared with a net loss of roughly $14 million in the same period a year ago.
“Print advertising remained tough,” Mark Thompson, the chief executive of The Times, said during an earnings call on Wednesday. “But it is a testimony to just how far our business has already transitioned towards digital that this steep decline did not stop us from growing our total revenue significantly in the quarter.”
Thompson on Wednesday thanked Donald Trump for another record quarter in digital subscriber growth.
"We absolutely believe the extraordinarily intense news cycle has been a very significant factor ... and it's the single most important factor in the scale of the bump we've seen in recent quarters," Thompson told analysts during a conference call after his company revealed its first quarter results.
Posted 3:25:00 AM