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The New York Times passes 10 million subscribers

The New York Times now has more than 10 million subscribers, the company said Wednesday, edging closer to its goal of 15 million by the end of 2027.

In its third-quarter report, The New York Times said it had added 210,000 net digital-only subscribers in the three months through September, giving it 9.41 million along with 670,000 print subscribers.

The Times has focused on getting subscribers to sign up for more than one of its offerings, which include the core news report, Cooking, Games, the Wirecutter review site and the sports news site The Athletic. Nearly 3.8 million of the 9.41 million digital-only subscribers are subscribed to at least two products, the company said.

Ms Meredith Kopit Levien, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement that the third-quarter results showed that the Times’ “multiproduct bundle” was performing well and would “further us down the path to building a larger, more profitable company”.

The Times had an adjusted operating profit of US$89.8 million (S$121.9 million) for the quarter, up 30.1 per cent from a year earlier. Total revenue was US$598.3 million, up 9.3 per cent from a year earlier.

The Athletic, which the Times bought for US$550 million in early 2022, recorded an adjusted operating loss of US$7.9 million for the quarter, an improvement from a US$12.1 million loss a year earlier. The Athletic has lost about US$68 million since the acquisition. Times executives said at the time of the deal that they expected The Athletic to take three years to turn profitable.

Quarterly revenue at The Athletic grew 45.8 per cent year over year, to US$34.4 million, because of an increase in subscribers and the introduction of display advertising, the Times said.

The Times disbanded its sports desk in September, with reporters and editors moving to other sections across the organization. Content from The Athletic, which is operated separately from the Times’ core newsroom, is now used in the Times’ print paper and its digital report.

Despite a challenging advertising environment across the industry, the Times posted a 6.7 per cent year-over-year increase in digital ad revenue, to US$75 million, aided in part by the new ad sales for The Athletic. Total advertising revenue was up 6 per cent, to US$117.1 million.

The Times, like other newspapers, has seen a steady decline in print subscribers. It has lost 70,000 in the past year.

For the final quarter of this year, the company expects total subscription revenue to increase 8 per cent to 11 per cent from a year ago on an adjusted basis, it said, while it forecast a single-digit percentage increase in digital advertising revenue. NYTIMES

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