The New York Times reports rise in profits


Wally Gobetz |

Meshal Muhammad

The past financial quarter proved successful for the mass media giant, The New York Times Co. Many factors led to the increase in revenue and subscriptions for the media company, including paywalls and a rise in advertising demand for the upcoming holiday season.

The New York Times  beat its earnings estimates by 3 cents, causing its stock to go up 3.9%.  Revenue also exceeded expectations due to a rise in advertising and digital sales by 13.8%. Of the 8.4 million New York Times subscribers, over 90% are now digital. The company’s print media subscriptions have been on the decline for a while now, dropping 95% year to date.

The New York Times  gained 455,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2021, which put it on the path to reach its 10 million subscribers goal by 2025. 320,000 of those subscribers came from New York Times journalism, and the remaining 135,000 were from New York Times Games, New York Times Cooking and Wirecutter.

The  company’s operating profit also saw a gain of 15% from the previous year, although operating costs also rose 18.8%.

Another milestone The New York Times recently hit was hitting one million international readers. This made international readers 12% of its total subscriptions.

“This was our best thirdquarter performance in news and total net subscriptions since the launch of the digital pay model more than a decade ago. Meredith Kopit Levien, the company’s CEO, said in a statement recently.

Levien attributes the rise in revenue and subscriptions to “a busy news season and the transition of casual readers to regular subscription readers with the help of paywalls on more articles.

Traditional media has taken a hit over the past decade, as a majority of Americans have switched to getting their news from digital platforms. A research study from Pew Research showed that less and less people are tuning into print media for news. Around 52% of Americans said that they prefer to get their news from digital platforms, with23% of them preferring to get their news from social media or podcasts. Only 7% of people said that they like to get their news from newspapers.

It is unclear whether pay walls and subscriptions to newsletters will be a long-term solution for increased revenue for companies such as The New York Times, or if these are just short-term gains due to the country coming out of the pandemic and the holiday season being around the corner.