New York Times earnings: Digital subs up, but not enough to keep revenue from slipping

The New York Times (s NYT)’s digital subscriptions were up in the second quarter of 2013, but not enough to keep overall revenue from slipping a bit, the company announced in its earnings report Thursday.

For the period ending June 30, the NYT’s revenues were $485.4 million, down 0.9 percent from this time last year. Overall circulation revenue was up 5.1 percent, with the company reporting 738,000 digital subscriptions across the New York Times, International Herald Tribune and Boston Globe. But advertising revenue fell by 5.8 percent and other revenues fell by 9.7 percent.
Digital subscriptions contributed $38.3 million to the company’s bottom line for the quarter. Here’s the breakdown by property:

  • New York Times and International Herald Tribune: 699,000 digital subs, up 35 percent compared to last year.
  • Boston Globe: 39,000 digital subs, up 70 percent compared to last year.

Both print and digital advertising declines contributed to the company’s slip in advertising revenue. Print advertising revenues were down 6.8 percent, and digital advertising revenue was down 2.7 percent to $51.2 million. In all, digital made up 24.7 percent of the company’s total ad revenues, up a bit from 23.9 percent this time last year.
Despite the revenue slip, profits were up slightly to $53.4 million, from $44.1 million this time last year.
The New York Times is working on new digital initiatives to keep those subscribers coming in. The company plans to launch a lower-priced digital offering, tentatively titled “Need to Know,” early next year, along with an “immersive digital magazine” and a new food news product.
The New York Times is holding an investor call at 11 AM ET, and we’ll be on the call.