The New York Times is exploring new areas to grow its ad business, especially in non-news sections.
The paper told Axios it has focused on revenue through subscriptions — but believes its products outside news are ripe for advertising. Those areas include games, cooking and sports. The NYT counts over 1 million subscribers for its Games and Cooking sections.
The New York Times Company added 180,000 net digital-only subscribers in Q2, but generated less digital ad revenue, noted in its Aug. 3 earnings report. NYT now has 9.17 million paid subscribers.
(Some 135 million people check out the NYT’s monthly content free via ad-supported efforts.)
Mohit Lohia will handle the paper's ad expansion strategy and will determine ways to enhance ad optimization via the first-party data it collects, per Axios. The challenge, according to the paper’s execs, is not being disruptive or annoying to readers. For example, Wordle is ad-free, but many lovers of the game worry that ads may be added to its pristine format.
The company is investigating new solutions other than customized ad units to accommodate the user’s experience outside news.
The New York Times Company just posted total Q2 revenue of $555.7 million, an 11.5S% increase from a year earlier. Digital subscriptions comprised $238.7 million of that revenue, a 25.5% uptick. However, The New York Times shares have lost about 35.5% since the beginning of the year, versus the S&P 500's decline of -14.2%.