The New York Times’ digital advertising revenue fell 2.4% in the second quarter to $69.3 million. The company correlates this to the current economic situation, fewer programmatic impressions and reduced planning associated with current affairs, marked by the invasion of Ukraine and its reverberations.
That decline coincided with a 15% rebound in print, whose gradual recovery from the worst of the pandemic has shifted the company’s commercial revenue split. If in the same period of 2021 digital advertising accounted for 63% of the total, this year it has remained at 59%.
Overall, this segment has barely improved by 4.1% in one year, to 112.7 million dollars, only 1.8% if the publisher of The New York Times without The Athletic is taken as an isolated reference. Advertising accounted for 21% of total business in the reporting period, down from almost 23% the previous year, while subscriptions continue to drive revenue with $383.6m of the total 555.6 revenue, more than two-thirds of a figure that grew 11.5% over 2021.
The company continues to feel the effects of the acquisition of The Athletic, which once again weighed on its operating profit.
The 13.1% increase in operating profit came mostly from more than 180,000 new digital subscribers, which helped bring the total number of customers to 9.17 million. That number includes almost 1.7 million paying subscribers to The Athletic, which again had a negative impact on the company’s operating result. That segment took a $12.6 million loss on The New York Times’ operating profit, which consequently fell 29.5% to $51.7 million.
The incorporation of this medium and the progressive increase in products for which a user can pay separately has led The New York Times to use a new methodology to explain its results and the evolution of its business. On the one hand, it talks about subscribers and on the other about subscriptions, from the perspective that a subscriber may have signed up for access to several of its products. In fact, it ended the second quarter with 8.4 million customers and 9.8 million subscriptions.
Alongside the two basic revenue pillars, the third channel of “other”, which above all includes revenue associated with Wirecutter’s e-commerce affiliate commissions, is increasingly consolidating. This segment grew by 17.6% to USD 54.7 million and now accounts for almost 10% of total business. It also includes revenues from brand licensing, television and film rights.