New York Times reports 2 years of declining print and digital ad revenues

New York Times reports 2 years of declining print and digital ad revenues

Summary: The media disruption continues despite large increases in digital subscriptions...

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TOPICS: Google
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The New York Times Company [$NYT] reported second quarter 2013 earnings 48% below last year's quarter due to severance and other "special" items but digital paid subscriptions rose 40%.

The full results are here: www.nytco.com/pdf/2Q_2013_Earnings.pdf

Despite rising numbers of readers and paid subscriptions, the company continues to struggle as advertising revenues continued to fall again— 6% in this quarter. This is the eighth sequential quarter of declining print and digital advertising revenues.

"Print and digital advertising revenues decreased…largely due to ongoing secular trends and an increasingly complex and fragmented digital advertising marketplace."

Jeff Bercovici, media reporter at Forbes, noted that the good news on digital was not enough.

Digital subscriptions still represent a smallish part of the company’s overall revenue picture — just 15% of circulation revenue and 7.8% of total revenues, which fell 1% in the quarter, to $485 million.

Foremski's Take: More readers, more subscriptions is usually great news for a newspaper however, print and digital advertising continues to fall in value due to what Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer, calls "ongoing secular trends." 

Q1 2013 print and digital advertising fell 13% and 4% respectively, due to "ongoing secular trends."

Q4 2012 print and digital advertising fell 10% and 2% due to "ongoing secular trends."

Q3 2012 print and digital advertising fell 11% and 2% due to "ongoing secular trends."

Q2 2012 print and digital advertising fell 8% and 4%.

Q1 2012 print and digital advertising fell 7% and 10%.

Q4 20011 print and digital advertising fell 8% and 5%.

Q3 2011 print and digital advertising fell 10% and 5%.

There was a time when digital advertising was rising!

Q2 2011 print advertising fell 6% and digital rose 16%!

Q1 2011 print advertising fell 8% and digital rose 5%%!

Q4 2010 print advertising fell 7% and digital rose 11%!

[More results here: New York Times Company : Press : Press Releases]

The "ongoing secular trend" is the media disruption carving its way through the entire industry. 

The publisher has to grow faster just to stay in place. Yet it has been praised for its embrace of media technologies and novel forms of reporting.

It's not a good place to be and it's largely because Google has sucked so much value out of the advertising business so that only Google can make money from it.

Even Google is facing a decline in the money it makes from each ad click but it remains hugely profitable because of its scale and because it harvests its content from the Internet and doesn't need to pay editors, reporters, photographers, news bureau rents, etc. 

The New York Times still has hopes of turning advertising revenues around. It recently hired Meredith Kopit Levien, chief revenue officer at Forbes, as its new executive vice president of advertising. Does this mean it will adopt the Forbes' Huntington Post-like business model in which it gets free content from "bloggers?"

Topic: Google

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9 comments
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  • What is a "secular trend"?

    I still don't understand in what context they are defining a secular trend? A never ending decline in subscribers or readership?
    Darko Gavrilovic
  • The NY Time has been losing readership since before Google came

    on the scene.

    The management at the Times is in denial about the true causes for its dropping readership and revenue.

    When a company becomes so far left that it doesn't care if they lose the other half of the country, then they get what they deserve.

    The paper is holding on by a thread, and was rescued from going out of business by an investor interested in good press more than an actual good investment.

    But the Times should have been out of business some 10-16 years ago. They will eventually fold, or sell ot an "interested" third party. Trump comes to mind. ;)
    adornoe@...
    • and

      That charge for stories after like 10 a month. You try to share with friends and they can't read it because they're not registered or already read 10 stories that month.

      Sorry but, no readers means no revenue for ads or subscriptions!

      They need a free section and insider like ESPN does. Put stock advice and fantasy sports stuff on the insider as well as maybe a tech tips type thing.
      slickjim
      • oh yeah and

        Quit charging for your crosswords when others give them away for free!
        slickjim
  • Back to basics

    If modern "news" outlets would return to the basics ... REAL JOURNALISM ... they'd be just fine. People won't pay for propaganda.
    ccs9623
  • Get rid of the Paywall

    I'd prefer to read the NY Times on line, advertisements and all, but I'm cheap. I can get news elsewhere for free. The New York Times doesn't own world events. Ditch the paywall and I'll come back.
    akaltman@...
  • NYT???

    I used to read the NYT several years ago, but stopped doing it last year. I have never paid for anything from them. In my opinion, they don't offer anything that is worth while paying for. Their Ultra Liberal slant turned me off. I'm sure they don't miss me, but I don't miss them either. It will be interesting to see how newspapers survive in the years ahead. I don't read my local paper anymore either, the Arizona Republic. Younger people tend to favorite the Internet and older people are dying off, so that doesn't bode too well for print publications.
    rgeiken@...
    • Same Here...

      Our local Marxist fish-wrapper the "Greenville News" has resorted to ambushing people in the grocery stores in an effort to sell subscriptions. As to the NY Times maybe they can get out-going Mayor Bloomberg (or whatever hyper-leftist psychotic replaces him) to require people to buy it...
      Ricardus
  • Stop subscriptions, charge $0.05 per ARTICLE VIEWED

    Stop subscriptions, charge $0.05 per ARTICLE VIEWED
    ~--~--~--~--~--~--~- ~--~--~--~--~--~--~- ~--~--~--
    From the http://www.nytco.com/pdf/2Q_2013_Earnings.pdf NYT 2013q2 report, the Revenues are ($M, best viewed in fixed font):

    Media Readers Advert Total
    Paper 239.8 156.1 395.9
    Digital 38.3 51.2 89.5
    Total 278.1 207.3 485.4

    So, paper still accounts for 81.6% of the revenue: NYT is slow and late behind the evolution, whence the "ongoing secular trends" of revenue decline (the momentarily increase this quarter in circulation revenue is due to an "increase in print circulation prices", which will soon *accelerate* the long-term decline).

    The DIGITAL part in revenue is 13.8% in readers, 24.7% in advertisers. So the advertisers are in advance, but they won't do more as long as the readers situation is not fixed: advertisers follow readers (putting their money where the ROI is).

    Accordingly, the ADVERTISING part in revenue is 39.4% for paper, 57.2% for digital: if such a sharing continues, NYT will lessen in quality.

    Conclusion: NYT currently does a good job of providing great stuff (excepted its constant, universal ultra-leftist stand, but this unrelated question has unfortunately no chance to get fixed), containing costs. The very problem at NYT as at other newspapers is the price level AND STRUCTURE of the digital offering; as long as they stick with middle-age mind schemes, sell by subscriptions (that make readers prisoners of NYT) at a stratospheric prices, their revenue will continue to go down.

    The web has made micro-payments easy. NYT (and all others) should charge $0.05 per article viewed, with download allowed, and OTOH defend its copyright: when more than one phrase of an article gets publicly copied, in article or comments, on another paper (or web), NYT should systematically point them publicly, and eventually prosecute the few ones who would insist.

    At that rate of $0.05/article, I would immediately visit any NYT link found anywhere, send its link to someone else, or revisit it with no hesitation even if I have downloaded it earlier.

    Versailles, Wed 14 Aug 2013 18:09:00 +0200
    Michel Merlin