New York Times sees record digital subcriptions in the first quarter

The Times started charging for online content in 2011

The Times added 587,000 net new digital subscriptions

For The New York Times Company the first quarter of this year has been the best quarter in history when it comes to digital subscriptions. The Times gained more digital subscribers during the first quarter of this year compared to any quarter since 2011 when it started charging readers for its online content. The Times was able to set this record despite the fact that it is allowing audiences to access the majority of its coverage related to the coronavirus outside of its pay model.

During the first quarter of 2020 The Times added 587,000 net new digital subscriptions, resulting in the highest number of net new subscriptions in a quarter in its history. Of the 587,000 net adds, 468,000 were to its core news product, with 119,000 to other digital products. As of the end of April, The Times has more than four million subscriptions to its digital-only news product; more than five million digital-only subscriptions in all; and more than six million total subscriptions across digital and print.

“The Times’s business model, with its growing focus on digital subscription growth and diminishing reliance on advertising, is very well positioned to ride out this storm and thrive in a post-pandemic world. We’ve seen historic audience levels and an unprecedented rate of subscriber growth as well as real pressure on advertising revenue,” Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer, The New York Times Company, said.

Despite the record number of subscriptions, the company’s operating profit decreased to USD 27.3 million in the first quarter of 2020 from USD 34.6 million in the same period of 2019. This is because the higher digital-only subscription and other revenues were more than offset by lower advertising revenues and higher costs.

“We saw advertising fall rapidly towards the end of the quarter and believe that advertising in the second quarter will fall between 50% and 55% compared to a year ago with limited visibility beyond that,” Thompson said.

First-quarter digital advertising revenue decreased 7.9%, while print advertising revenue decreased 20.9%. Digital advertising revenue was USD 51.2 million, or 48.2% of total company advertising revenues, compared with USD 55.5 million, or 44.4%, in the first quarter of 2019. Print advertising revenue decreased as the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated, largely impacting the luxury, media, entertainment and financial categories.

The Times expects the trend of increasing digital subscription to continue. It expects total subscription revenues in the second quarter of 2020 to increase in the mid- to high-single digits compared with the second quarter of 2019, with digital-only subscription revenue expected to increase in the high-twenties.







In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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