Thursday, August 6, 2020

NY Times Reports Digital Revenue Exceeds Print

Over a three-month period dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and a slowdown in advertising, The New York Times Company for the first time reported quarterly revenue that owed more to digital products than to the print newspaper, The Times reports.

As much of its staff worked remotely, The Times brought in $185.5 million in revenue for digital subscriptions and ads during the second quarter of 2020, the company announced on Wednesday. The number for print revenue was $175.4 million.

The company added 669,000 net new digital subscribers, making the second quarter its biggest ever for subscription growth. The Times has 6.5 million total subscriptions, a figure that includes 5.7 million digital-only subscriptions, putting it on a course to achieve its stated goal of 10 million subscriptions by 2025.

In a statement, Mark Thompson, the chief executive, called the company’s shift from print revenue to digital “a key milestone in the transformation of The New York Times.”

Attracting subscribers willing to pay for online content is a high-wire act that practically every company in the news business is trying to pull off. The Times started charging for digital content in 2011, when asking news consumers to pay for what they read on their screens was seen as a risky gambit.

Adjusted operating profit for the second quarter was $52.1 million, a 6.2 percent decline from $55.6 million in the same time last year.

At the Times Company, ad revenue fell 32 percent in the digital part of the business and 55 percent in print compared with the equivalent period last year. Total ad revenue fell to $67.8 million, from $120.8 million, a 44 percent drop. That figure fell short of the 50 percent to 55 percent decline forecast by Times executives in May.

The Times laid off 68 employees in June, most of them in advertising, including all those who worked at its marketing agency Fake Love, which was closed. The newsroom and opinion departments were not affected by the cuts.

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