New York Times surpasses 3.5 million pure digital subscribers

Aggressive promotional offers made it possible to attract 223,000 web subscribers on a daily basis during the last quarter. He is launching a new editorial offer around parenthood, which will pay off.

The New York Times continues to seduce. The American daily recorded 223,000 additional digital subscribers between January and March, for a total of 3.5 million “pure web” subscribers. This is 29% more than a year ago, and 100,000 more than the previous quarter. By adding subscribers to the paper, the New York Times now has 4.5 million paid readers, a record. The newspaper intends to reach 10 million in 2025, which means an average gain of 200,000 subscribers every quarter for five years.

To recruit as many new subscribers in early 2019, the Times did not hesitate to increase the aggressive promotional offers. “One year subscription at -60%”; “$ 5 per month for one year, $ 8 per month thereafter for life”; “A subscription purchased, one offered to your loved ones” … In total, he spent $ 47.5 million between January and March on marketing, or 50% more than last year. At the same time, it offers low-cost subscriptions centered around crosswords (Crossword) or cooking recipes (Cooking). And it works. With 500,000 subscribers, 100,000 more than a year ago, Crossword is “the fifth largest online press subscription in the United States” according to Mark Thomson, CEO of the New York Times Company. In fact, the average revenue per subscriber has declined. It has gone from $ 15 a month in 2016 to $ 12 today. But the Times knows how to keep newcomers. If one can theoretically unsubscribe at any time, the reader must imperatively call the newspaper and speak with a teleoperator, who will do everything to retain it.

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The daily intends to continue to offer paid verticals around strong and engaging themes. He launched “Parenting” on Wednesday, a mini-site about family and education. The site is interested in several stages of parenthood: conception or adoption, pregnancy, the arrival of the baby, and its development until entry into primary school. Parenting also addresses financial issues, difficulties at work, or the division of labor among household members. The New York Times wanted to build a neutral editorial offer, which is aimed at both mothers and fathers, and which is interested in all types of families. “Parents are drowned in information but say they cannot find reliable sources on these subjects”, explains Parenting editor-in-chief, Jessica Grose. The mini-site is free but you must create an account to access it. In the long term, it will become paid in the same way as Crosswords and Cooking. The Times offers a comprehensive offer that provides access to all of its editorial products.

Subscriptions account for two-thirds of income

Between January and March, digital revenue from subscriptions increased 15% from last year to $ 109 million. Digital advertising has grown by 19% and weighs $ 55.5 million. This growth comes in part from the monetization of podcasts, including The Daily, which reached 2 million listeners per day. Digital revenues offset the decline in paper activities. Print advertising fell 12% in one year to $ 69.5 million. Paper subscriptions held steady, with revenues down 2.6%, at $ 161 million. While print is still the primary source of income for Times, the gap with digital is narrowing more and more.

“Subscriptions now represent two-thirds of our turnover, and digital subscriptions alone today account for a quarter of our income,” underlines Mark Thomson. The New York Times also earned 43 million dollars thanks to ancillary activities (+ 55.8%), such as the rental of certain floors of its headquarters, the organization of events or derivative products. In June, he will launch The Weekly on FX television and the Hulu platform.

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In total, le Times saw its sales increase 6.1% in the first quarter to $ 439 million. Its operating income is $ 34.5 million, 1.6% more than a year ago. Net profit is $ 30 million, a jump of 37.6% compared to last year which is explained by a lower tax burden. The media is therefore doing well, and has announced that it will continue to recruit. Today, its editorial staff has nearly 1,600 employees.


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