A surge in both online display and classified advertising fueled online ad revenues to rise 23 percent last month, compared to February 2005.
Internet company About.com, which the Times purchased from Primedia for $410 million one year ago, also saw a spike in advertising. February ad revenue for About.com soared to $5.4 million--marking a 75 percent increase from February of 2005.
As for the company's newspaper holdings--New York Times Media Group, New England Media Group, and Regional Media Group--ad revenue came to $163.3 million, virtually unchanged from last February's $162.6 million. At the New York Times Media Group--which includes The New York Times and International Herald Tribune--revenue increased around 3 percent to $101.4 million; the Regional Media Group, including papers like the Sarasota Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Fla. and The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif., saw ad revenue increase by nearly 6 percent to $30.7 million. But the New England Media Group, which includes The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, saw revenue plunge 12 percent to $31.2 million.
The company also reported that more than 450,000 consumers now subscribe to TimesSelect, a paid service launched last September. TimesSelect provides users with access to around two-dozen op-ed and news columnists, including nationally known commentators like Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich. Most of the TimesSelect users--62 percent--receive the service as a free add-on to home-delivery subscriptions. The other 38 percent pay around $50 a year for the product. Before last September, the columns were available online for free.