- Digital revenue for The New York Times (NYT) for the first time in its history exceeded its print revenue, the company reported in its second-quarter report on Wednesday.
The newspaper business of the US is looking more and more like a digital shop, and it has to show it with the subscription numbers.
Digital revenue for The New York Times (NYT) for the first time in its history exceeded its print revenue, the company reported in its second-quarter report on Wednesday. The Times also added 669,000 digital subscriptions for a total of 5.7 million digital-only subscriptions and 6.5 million overall subscriptions. In 2019 the organization set a target of hitting 10 million subscriptions by 2025.
For the quarter ending June 30, these additions amounted to an 8.4 percent increase in subscription revenue.
The total revenue of the Times dropped from $436.3 million the year before by 7.5 percent to $403.8 million. Revenue from ads was the hardest hit, dropping 43.9 percent. As with other media outlets, advertisement sales took a hit during the pandemic as brands reduced discretionary spending. The Times CEO Mark Thompson said last quarter that as the company saw lower competition, the company expected its ad revenue to “drop between 50 and 55 percent.”
The Times reported on Wednesday that, due to the continuing impact of the pandemic, it expects ad revenue to decline by about 35 percent to 40 percent in the third quarter compared with a year ago.
“This was also one of the most important quarter of my tenure as CEO of The Times,” Thompson said in a statement. “We have recorded our best ever results for new digital subscriptions, and for the first time in our history overall digital revenue has surpassed print revenue – a significant achievement in The New York Times’ transformation and a testimony to how much we have accomplished over the past eight years.”
Last month The Times named Meredith Kopit Levien as its next president and chief executive officer, who is the newspaper’s current chief operating officer. On 8 September she will succeed Thompson. Levien said she intended to continue investing in journalism and also wanted to add more non-news items and video games.
The Times has continued to invest in audio storytelling, reporting last month that it will purchase Serial Productions and a collaborator with “This American Life.” Levien lauded the Daily podcast ‘s performance on Wednesday’s earnings call stating that its reach is now “vastly greater” than the regular or Sunday paper with “somewhere over 3.5 million” listeners per day.
“We think The Daily plays a role in getting people into The Times and people feel our brand ‘s real affinity,” she said.
Operating income for Periods dropped from $37.9 million the year before to $28.8 million in the second quarter of 2020.