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The New York Times tops 7.5 million subscriptions on falling ads


That year, the Times’s premier digital offering, the news product, gained 1.7 million subscribers, up 48 percent from 2019. More than five million Times subscriptions are for the news product alone, The Times said. Other digital offerings such as the cooking and games app won more than 600,000 subscriptions in 2020, an increase of 66 percent to a total of around 1.6 million. The remaining subscriptions – around 833,000 – are for the print newspaper.

For the fourth quarter, digital subscription revenue was $ 167 million, up 37 percent from the last few months of 2019. For the year, it was $ 598.3 million, up 30 percent. Total subscription revenue rose 10 percent in 2020 to $ 1.195 billion.

A downside for the quarter and the year was ad sales. The shutdowns and suspensions of businesses during the pandemic weighed on the entire media industry and cut marketing budgets for many companies that buy ads. The Times’ total advertising revenue fell 26 percent to $ 392.4 million in 2020, with print advertising revenue taking the brunt of the annual decline at 39 percent, the company said.

Daily business briefing


Aug. 12, 2021, 4:26 p.m. ET

In the fourth quarter, digital advertising revenue declined 2 percent year over year to $ 90.1 million. Print ad revenue declined 38 percent to $ 49.1 million in the fourth quarter. The decline in print advertising was accelerated by the pandemic but was also related to larger trends, The Times said. In the quarter, 65 percent of total advertising revenue came from digital, compared to 54 percent a year ago.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $ 509.4 million, up 0.2 percent from 2019. Adjusted operating income increased 1.4 percent to $ 97.7 million from the fourth quarter of 2019 and increased for the year 0.9 percent to $ 250.6 million.


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