New York Times Adds 455,000 New Digital Subscriptions

From a New York Times story by Marc Tracy headlined “New York Times Adds 455,000 Subscriptions in Third Quarter”:

The New York Times Company said that it added 455,000 new digital subscriptions in the third quarter, a gain that keeps the publisher on pace to reach its goal of 10 million subscriptions by 2025.

Of the new digital subscriptions, 320,000 signed up for The Times’s journalism. The rest came for Games, Cooking and Wirecutter, the product review site that started offering subscriptions in September.

“This was our best third-quarter performance in both News and total net subscription additions since the launch of the digital pay model more than a decade ago, and, outside of 2020, our best quarter ever for digital subscription additions,” Meredith Kopit Levien, the company’s chief executive, said.

Of The Times’s nearly 8.4 million total subscriptions, 7.6 million are now digital. The number of print subscriptions fell to 795,000 in the July-through-September quarter, from 831,000 in the same three-month period last year, a decline in keeping with trends affecting the news industry as a whole.

The Times also hit a milestone, passing one million subscriptions outside the United States. Roughly 12 percent of its subscriptions are international.

Ms. Levien attributed the gains in the quarter to “a busy news period,” as well as improved retention of subscribers and new initiatives meant to turn casual readers into paying customers.

The company reported adjusted operating profit of $65.1 million, a 15 percent increase over the same quarter a year ago, on $509.1 million of revenue, a 19.3 percent rise. Operating costs rose nearly as much, to $460.1 million, or 18.8 percent. Subscription revenues rose 13.8 percent, to $342.6 million, from last year.

After a down period last year, when the economy slowed at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies were once again buying ads for both the print newspaper and the Times site, lifting ad revenues by 40 percent, to $110.9 million. Compared with the third quarter of 2019, a more typical year, ad revenue was down 2.3 percent, however.

The Times Company’s balance sheet surpassed $1 billion in cash as it continued to build its free cash flow, a measure of financial health….

The Times said it expected subscription revenue to increase 12 percent and digital subscription revenue to go up 25 percent in the fourth quarter. It also projected growth in ad revenue around 15 percent. Costs will also rise by 17 to 20 percent.

New digital offerings may bring in more revenue in the years ahead. In addition to moving Wirecutter behind a paywall during the third quarter, The Times started offering subscriptions to some of its 50 newsletters, which the company had offered free for years…..

The Times also announced in September that it was testing an ad-free iPad app inspired by the print section The New York Times for Kids.

Also see the Wall Street Journal story by Patience Haggin headlined “New York Times Profit Soars With Ad-Business Rebound”

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