NEW YORK (NYTIMES) – The New York Times added about 180,000 net digital-only subscribers in the second quarter of the year but generated less digital advertising revenue, it said Wednesday (Aug 3).
The Times now has 9.17 million paid subscribers. It has a goal of 15 million by the end of 2027.
The company reported US$76 million (S$105 million) in adjusted operating profit, 18 per cent less than the same quarter last year. It generated total revenue of US$555.7 million, an 11.5 per cent increase from a year earlier.
Digital subscriptions accounted for US$238.7 million of that revenue, a 25.5 per cent increase.
One-time hit from acquisition
The hit to operating profit was mostly from losses at The Athletic, the sports news website that the Times bought in February for US$550 million. Adjusted operating losses at The Athletic were US$12.6 million for this quarter, from April to June, down from about US$19.4 million in the first quarter.
“We are well on our way to achieving our next mile marker of 15 million subscribers by 2027,” Ms Meredith Kopit Levien, president and chief executive of the Times Company, said in a statement.
The Times reported 9.107 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2022. That number was revised in this quarter’s results down to 9.01 million.
A key part of the Times’ strategy is making a distinction between subscribers and subscriptions. One subscriber may have a subscription to more than one of the company’s products, which include The Athletic, Cooking and Wirecutter.
The Times is betting on bundling digital offerings with its news report to reach new audiences with a variety of interests.
In the second quarter, the company had its highest-ever number of new subscribers to the All Digital Access tier, which includes the Times’ news report, Games, Cooking, Wirecutter and The Athletic, Ms Levien said.
Print still shrinking
The net gain of 180,000 digital-only subscribers was a 70 per cent increase from the second quarter of 2021.
The company added far more in the first quarter of the year, 387,000, but that was largely a one-time boost from The Athletic. The sports site added a net increase of 50,000 stand-alone subscribers in the most recent quarter.
The vast majority of the Times’ subscribers pay for digital-only access.
The number of print subscribers continued to shrink in the second quarter, down nearly 7 per cent from a year earlier, to about 761,000.
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