The New York Times Cuts Down on Advertising, Boosts Digital Subscriptions

People hate getting bombarded with ads on their favorite websites; and people love The New York Times. So it only makes sense that people are getting tired of ads on the digital version of the popular newspaper. 

And from the looks of their success, it appears the newspaper is listening.  

In the final quarter of 2019, The New York Times Company succeeded in a very important business goal and nearly succeeded in another. 

On the first matter, The New York Times Company has successfully converted [most of] its digital revenue source from advertising to memberships/subscriptions.  In a disclosure released last month, annual digital revenue for 2019 surpassed $800 million for the first time in the company’s history. This was their goal for 2020.  However, most of that revenue—about $420 million—was from news subscribers, which is the second matter. 

In the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report, which was released on Thursday, The New York Times said its total subscription figure was more than five million.  That is a record high, of course.  

The New York Times Company president and chief executive Mark Thompson exalted 2019 as “a record-setting year for the New York Times’ digital subscription business, the best since the company launched digital subscriptions almost nine years ago.”

In total, there are approximately 5,251,000 subscriptions, which include customers who receive traditional ink-and-paper editions delivered to their home. But this also includes the more telling 3.5 million digital-only subscribers.  Whether by the buzz of the impeachment proceedings of the past few weeks, alone, or by overall popularity of the paper, subscriptions grew a whopping 30 percent over the final quarter of the year when compared to the year prior. 

Thompson goes on to say, “We believe that our loyal subscribers know that their financial contribution plays an essential role in maintaining the quality, breadth, and depth of the report they value so much.”