'NYT' Q3 Report: Digital Subscriptions Up, Ad Revs Down

The New York Times’third-quarter earnings report reveals growth in digital subscriptions but a drop in digital ad revenue.

The publisher added 273,000 new online subscribers in the third quarter, according to the report, which was released yesterday. 

The New York Times now has 4 million digital subscribers.

About 209,000 of the new additions paid for the Times’ main news product. The newspaper now has more than 3 million subscriptions to its digital news product. The rest came from subscriptions to the Crossword and Cooking products.

The New York Times’ total number of print and digital subscribers is now 4.9 million. 

However, digital ad revenue dropped 5.4% in the third quarter, compared to the same quarter last year. Overall advertising revenue fell 6.7%.



In a statement, New York Times Company CEO-president Mark Thompson cited “continued turbulence in the digital advertising space” for the decline. 

The company expects a “challenging” fourth quarter, “largely due to comparisons to a very successful Q4 of 2018.” The Times expects digital advertising to fall in the mid-teens, compared to the fourth quarter in 2018, but also foresees digital subscription revenue increasing by that much next quarter.

Thompson pointed to a “significant change” to its pay model for the third-quarter’s digital subscription growth.

“Most anonymous users now have to register and log in to The New York Times if they want to read more than a very limited number of stories," he stated. "It’s much easier for us to encourage these logged-in users to engage more deeply with our content and consider subscribing. This was an important factor in the strong net subscription adds in the quarter."

Thompson noted it has not "led to any appreciable loss of overall unique users" to date.

The company revealed for the first time it has 500,000 international digital subscribers.

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