Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

NYTimes Q3: Falling Print And Digital Ad Revenues Produce 'Strong' Quarter

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 31, 2013

Media disruption continues as the New York Times reported its 2013 Q3 financial report with nine consecutive quarters of declining advertising revenues in print and digital.

The bright spots were that the decline in advertising was the smallest in three years at 2%, and digital subscribers increased more than in the second quarter of 2013, and were up 28% from last year to a total of 727,000.

Print and digital advertising revenues decreased 1.6 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, largely due to ongoing secular trends and an increasingly complex and fragmented digital advertising marketplace.

The company has been shedding assets such as the sale of The Boston Globe, and cutting staff. The 1.1 percent reduction in operating costs plus a 1.8 percent increase in revenues to $361.7m, produced a "strong" quarter according to Mark Thompson, CEO. 

However, his guidance for the fourth quarter is that advertising revenues will continue to decrease in "single digits" due to significant monthly volatility. 

The New York Times has been investing heavily in new ways to produce news stories and its strong brand recognition should make it easier for the newspaper to make money and grow. Instead, it continues to lose digital advertising revenues and paid subscriber growth is modest. That doesn't bode well for smaller newspapers struggling to make a living. 

Mr. Thompson said, "We still have a great deal of work to do to transform our business model and to achieve our goal of long-term sustainable growth."

The Pew Research Center reports that online advertising is moving strongly to large Internet media companies such as Google and Facebook because big brands can buy larger numbers of traffic and better target consumers in multiple regions. 

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