News Corp's news and information services business — its largest unit that includes The Wall Street Journal, Times of London and New York Post — reported a revenue decline of 5% to $1.23 billion in the fourth quarter, the company announced yesterday.
Those results reflect a 3% negative impact from foreign-currency fluctuations.
Within this segment, revenue at Dow Jones — which publishes The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s — grew 4% in the quarter compared to the same quarter last year.
Adjusted revenue for the segment was 2% lower compared to the prior year.
The Wall Street Journal’s average daily digital subscribers in the fourth quarter were at 1.82 million, compared to 1.59 million in the prior year (2.6 million total subscribers). The Wall Street Journal’s digital-only subscribers now account for over 69% of the total subscriber base.
Advertising revenues in the fourth quarter declined 8% compared to the prior year — of which $18 million, or 2%, was related to the negative impact from foreign-currency fluctuations.
“The remainder of the decline was driven by weakness in the print advertising market and lower home delivered revenues, which include free-standing insert products, at News America Marketing, partially offset by growth in digital advertising revenues,” according to a News Corp statement.
Advertising revenues at Dow Jones were flat in the quarter as growth in digital advertising offset the decline in print advertising.
Digital revenues represented 40% of total Dow Jones advertising revenues in the quarter.
Advertising revenue declined 7% in the fiscal year compared to the prior year, “reflecting weakness in the print advertising market, at $74 million, or 3%, negative impact from foreign-currency fluctuations and lower revenues at News America Marketing,” according to the company.
Circulation and subscription revenues in the news and information services segment were flat in the quarter compared to the prior year.
Dow Jones had a 7% increase in its circulation revenues, reflecting digital paid subscriber growth of 14% and subscription price increases at The Wall Street Journal.
Dow Jones’ consumer products reached about 3.3 million total subscribers, reflecting a 9% increase compared to the prior year. The cover price increases at other mastheads also contributed to the results.
Digital revenues represented 33% of the news and information services segment revenues in the quarter, compared to 30% in the prior year.