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Aug. 7, 2019, 12:41 p.m.
Business Models
LINK: investors.nytco.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   August 7, 2019

Good news from big newspapers: The New York Times now has 3.78 million digital subscribers, the company said in its second-quarter earnings report released Wednesday, while The Guardian confirmed that it broke even in 2018 for the first time in years and also broke out its international digital revenue for the first time.

Noteworthy bits from the Times’ earnings:

— The Times inched closer to being a majority-digital company. Paid digital-only subscriptions totaled 3.78 million as of June 30, 2019. About three million of those subscriptions were to the news product; the remainder were to the standalone Cooking and Crosswords products. There was $112.6 million in digital subscription revenue, up 14 percent over this time last year. The Times now counts 4.7 million total print + digital subscriptions.

— Digital advertising revenue was $58 million for the quarter, or 48.1 percent of the company’s total advertising revenue.

— Revenue from the Times’ “other” category, which includes affiliate revenue from The Wirecutter, licensing, referrals, and so on, was $45 million, up 30 percent from this time last year. In the release, Times CEO Mark Thompson noted that the Times’ weekly news show The Weekly, which launched on FX and Hulu in June, “was the largest driver of the 30 percent growth in other revenue in the quarter.”

— Operating profit decreased a bit, which Thompson ascribed to “continued investment into growing our subscription business.”

Meanwhile, over at The Guardian:

— A bunch of this was preliminarily announced in May, but The Guardian’s parent company confirmed that it broke even for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. Digital now makes up 56 percent of The Guardian’s total revenue; 80 percent of advertising revenue is digital.

— The Guardian, which has no paywall, now has 655,000 regular paying supporters, and received an additional 300,000 one-off contributions over the past year.

— For the first time, the company broke out details about its digital business in the U.S. and Australia: “Revenue from advertising and reader contributions at the online-only Guardian US and Guardian Australia operations grew to £30.8M in the last financial year, equivalent to 14 percent of Guardian Media Group’s global revenues.”

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