According to New York Magazine, subscription revenue exceeded advertising revenue for the second quarter in a row at the New York Times Company. In Q2, print and digital advertising revenues from its newspapers declined 6.6% year-over-year to $220 million, but subscription revenue was up 8.3% to $233 million. This represents a dramatic shift for the Times Company, and for newspaper publishers in general, which have gotten the majority of their revenue from advertising for many decades.
Revenue from print
advertising has been declining since the 2008 financial crisis, and the
growth of online advertising revenues has stalled. On the other hand,
the Times' aggressive program to increase digital subscribers has been
successful--digital subscribers for all its newspapers increased from
454,000 in Q1 to 509,000 in Q2. The company also increased the price of
its morning print newspaper, but it didn't have much impact on sales.
As Ken Doctor of Newsonomics told New York Magazine, "The future looks
like it's going to be a majority reader revenue. What we don't know is
at what level. And that's huge, because it tells us how big of a
newsroom they can support."