Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The New York Times Posts Fewest Digital Subscribers in Three Years

By The Daily Upside – Aug 4, 2021 at 8:00PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Oh, how the Times have changed... The New York Times said Wednesday that it brought in the fewest digital subscribers in three years during the...

For more crisp and insightful business and economic news, subscribe to The Daily Upside newsletter. It's completely free and we guarantee you'll learn something new every day.

Oh, how the Times have changed...

The New York Times said Wednesday that it brought in the fewest digital subscribers in three years during the second quarter, accruing just 142,000 new signups.

All the Non-News That's Not Printed

Despite the subscription slowdown, the Times has plenty to celebrate. Last year, the pandemic cut deep into its advertising revenue, but marketing budgets have bounced back, with the paper posting a 66% increase in ad sales. The NYT is also on track to hit its goal of 10 million digital subscribers by 2025, with 8 million already on board. But the most intriguing trend is the interests of recent subscribers:

  • Of the 142,000 new subs in the second quarter, almost half — 65,000 — signed up for cooking, games, and audio products rather than the refined reporting the paper prides itself on. The Times welcomed record non-news subscribers in Q2, both in terms of pure volume and as a percentage of total subs.
  • With paying customers branching out into more products and a bit of price-hiking by the Times, revenues from subscriptions and advertising soared 15.7% above the second quarter of 2020, the largest year-over-year growth in more than a decade.

"We believe that while the news cycle will continue to have significant effects on our subscription growth, we are increasing our control over the levers of our subscription model," CEO Meredith Kopit Levien said, in an apparent nod to the relative political news lull of the post-election year. Election or no election, people seem to always have a craving for crossword puzzles.

New to the Bundle: Next on the subscription docket for the Times is Wirecutter, a consumer reviews site the paper purchased in 2016 for $30 million. The site so far has relied on affiliate marketing from the likes of Amazon and Walmart but is primed to move behind a paywall this fall.


Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.