Thursday, October 20, 2011

The New York Times says it has 324,000 paid digital subscribers, reports quarterly profit of $15.7 million

The New York Times this morning reported its earnings for the latest quarter ending in September and said it has earned a profit of $15.7 million versus a loss of $4.3 million last year.

But advertising revenue slipped badly, down 8.8 percent, as the company said national and classified advertising declined. It also said that the group's performance "proved particularly weak". Financial results were significantly helped by the $65.3 million pre-tax gain from the sale of the company's stake in the company that owns the Boston Red Sox.

The NYT also revealed that it now has 324,000 paid digital subscribers, and that this number does not include the 100,000 readers who are getting access to the digital products via the sponsorship by the Ford Motor Company (that includes TNM). The number of digital subscribers grew over 15 percent in the quarter.

As the NYT began its experiment with paywalls on March 28 of this year, the real test will come next year as annual subscriptions expire.