Monday, May 4, 2015

The New York Times Will Hit One Million Digital Subscribers Soon. But Does It Matter?

re/code reporting:
...The paper finally went ahead with a paywall in 2011 and turned digital subscriptions into a growing business that generated nearly $170 million last year, up 13.5 percent from the year before. (The number of Times digital subscribers, interestingly, is growing at a rate of about 20 percent a year, which suggests the publisher is also counting free-trial members.)
The problem, however, is that despite those gains, the Times’ digital revenues — both circulation and advertising — account for little more than a fifth of the paper’s total sales and won’t in any way come close to making up for its once fat print profits. Even at 1 million paying online readers, that’s a $190 million to $200 million business. Include digital ads in that mix and it’s optimistically a $400 million digital newsroom. Still not enough to make up for print.
Print, of course, is still a billion-dollar machine for the Times, but it is, inevitably, an anachronism. The Times’ average weekday print circulation now stands at 625,951, about half the 1.18 million it garnered in 1994 when the paper of record reached its daily print peak. And it’s only getting smaller.

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