Monday, May 27, 2024

New York Times Exceeds Expectations with Strong Digital Subscription Growth

New York, May 8 (Reuters) – The New York Times (NYT.N) surpassed analyst forecasts for first-quarter revenue and profit, riding on the back of a significant boost in digital subscriptions. The company’s strategic bundling of its core news content with additional offerings such as podcasts, cooking recipes, and games proved successful in attracting more subscribers to its website and app.

The publisher reported revenue of $594 million, slightly above analysts’ expectations of $591.9 million, according to LSEG data. Adjusted earnings per share stood at 31 cents, compared to estimates of 20 cents.

Subscription revenue witnessed a nearly 8% increase, reaching $429 million, with digital-only product revenue surging more than 13% due to higher demand for bundled and multiproduct offerings.

Despite adding 210,000 digital-only subscribers in the first quarter, down from 300,000 in the preceding three months, New York Times expects total subscription revenue to grow between 6% and 8%, slightly surpassing analysts’ estimates.

On the advertising front, the company experienced a 2.4% decline in total advertising revenue for the quarter, amounting to $103.7 million, even though digital ad sales rose by nearly 3%, its largest revenue generator. CEO Meredith Kopit Levien highlighted the impact of certain advertisers avoiding hard news topics last quarter but noted an uptick in advertiser demand for the second quarter.

The New York Times’ sports-focused publication, The Athletic, reported a 33% increase in total revenue and an 18% rise in subscription revenue, reflecting a growing trend among marketers shifting towards digital and sports advertising to reach a younger and broader audience. However, the company also reported a 10% drop in print advertising revenue and a 2% decline in subscription revenue for its traditional business.

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