Digital subscriptions to News Corp,’s The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Sunday Times of London and its Australian titles grew an average of 20% in the quarter ending March 31.
“At our mastheads, digital audiences expanded at a time when premium news has become more important to readers and advertisers,” stated CEO Robert Thomson.
Revenue for News Corp.’s newspaper unit grew 2%, or $23 million, compared to the same quarter in 2017, thanks to bumps in circulation and subscriptions at The Wall Street Journal.
News UK and Dow Jones revenues grew 10% and 4%, respectively, while revenues at News America Marketing and News Corp Australia declined 5% and 3%, respectively.
Circulation and subscription revenues increased 7%. Dow Jones had a 10% increase in its circulation revenues.
Cover and subscription price increases also contributed to the revenue growth, according to the company, but were partially offset by lower newsstand volume at News UK.
Digital revenues represented 29% of the newspaper unit’s revenues, compared to 24% in the prior year, due to paid digital subscriber growth.
The Wall Street Journal hit 1.49 million subscribers by the end of March, from 1.19 million last year.
Digital subscribers to the company’s Australian papers grew from 333,400 to 409,000, and subscribers to The Times and The Sunday Times increased from 185,000 to 230,000.
But advertising revenues were down 3% at News Corp, due primarily to dips in print advertising in the U.S. and Australia.
The decision to stop printing The Wall Street Journal’s international editions in the second quarter of fiscal 2018 also affected ad revenue.
The decline was partially offset by “the positive impact from foreign-currency fluctuations, a modest increase in digital advertising revenues at News Corp Australia and Dow Jones and a slight increase in advertising revenues at News UK,” according to the company.