New York Times digital revenue exceeds print for first time

New York Times digital revenue exceeds print for first time
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The New York Times’ digital revenue exceeded its print revenue for the first time in April, May and June, in the midst of the pandemic, the company reported in its second quarter numbers Wednesday. 

The newspaper collected $185.5 million in revenue for digital subscriptions and ads, while print revenue amounted to $175.4 million, according to the Times.

Mark Thompson, the chief executive, said in a statement that the numbers represent “a key milestone in the transformation of The New York Times.”

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The second quarter brought a total of 669,000 net new digital subscribers, the biggest increase in subscriptions. The Times also reported 5.7 million digital-only subscribers and 6.5 million subscribers total, which Thompson said was “well on the way” to his goal of 10 million subscriptions by 2025.

“We’ve proven that it’s possible to create a virtuous circle in which wholehearted investment in high-quality journalism drives deep audience engagement, which in turn drives revenue growth and further investment capacity,” Thompson said. 

The newspaper reported its adjusted operating profit dropped by 6.2 percent to $52.1 million, when compared to the second quarter of 2019. 

The company’s digital advertising revenue fell 31.9 percent compared to last year, while print advertising revenue dropped 55 percent. Digital advertising revenue made up 58.3 percent of the Times’ ad revenue, compared to in 2019 when it made up 48.1 percent of the total. 

The total ad revenue decreased by 44 percent from 2019’s statistic to $67.8 million in 2020. Company executives had predicted a 50 to 55 percent drop in ad revenue due to the pandemic. 

Digital-only circulation jumped 29.6 percent in the second quarter, while print circulation decreased by 6.7 percent, which the newspaper said was because of less newsstand sales. The total circulation boosted by 8.4 percent in the quarter.

Executives expect the total subscription revenue to increase by 10 percent in the third quarter and digital-only circulation revenue to be boosted by 30 percent, according to the newspaper’s outlook.

Thompson announced last month he was leaving the Times and will be replaced by Meredith Kopit Levin.