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Feb. 7, 2024, 1:23 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Sarah Scire   |   February 7, 2024

The New York Times ended 2023 with 10.36 million subscribers, including 9.7 digital-only subscribers, according to an end-of-year report presented to investors on Wednesday.

The Times added 300,000 new digital-only subscribers in the last months of 2023, more than it added in any quarter for the previous year. The Times now makes more than twice as much revenue from digital subscriptions as it does from print subscriptions. Revenue from digital subscriptions totaled $1.09 billion in 2023.

The New York Times, we’ve noted before, no longer features a news-only subscription. Instead, it’s all about The Bundle. With significantly better retention rates for subscribers who use multiple Times products, the company is pushing its all-access digital bundle that includes Games, Cooking, Wirecutter, and The Athletic alongside its journalism. At the end of 2023, a little under half — 4.22 million or 43% — of digital-only subscribers were bundle or multi-product subscribers.

“Other revenues” were up 10% in 2023, due to higher Wirecutter affiliate referral revenues and licensing. Total digital-only average revenue per user also grew 3.5% compared to 2022 after the Times was able to successfully graduate more subscribers from promotional rates. “Tenured non-bundled subscribers” were the most likely to see price increases.

The Athletic — which the Times acquired for $550 million in 2022 — continues to lose money. But it’s losing significantly less money! Revenue at The Athletic grew 31% in the last quarter of 2023 and its operating loss now stands at $4.4 million. (A year ago, it was operating at a loss of $9.6 million.) Times executives credited higher digital subscription and advertising revenues at The Athletic for the boost.

Overall ad revenue — volatile across the industry — came up short for the Times in the last quarter of 2023, though the slump took longer to catch up with the Times than it did with other news outlets. Total advertising revenues decreased 8.4% to $164.1 million with digital ad revenue dropping 3.7% and print ad revenue dropping 16.2%. The Times told investors it expected digital ad revenues to increase by single digits in the first quarter of 2024 and total ad revenue to decrease by “mid single digits” over the same period.

You can read the end-of-year report here.

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