May 6, 2020 - Economy

NYT reports record new subscriptions, warns of major ad losses

Data: NYT earnings reports; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The New York Times said during its earnings report on Wednesday that it saw more than a half-million new subscribers — roughly double the amount of net new subscriptions that it typically sees in any given quarter.

Why it matters: Despite the fact that more people are hungry for news, news companies like The Times are struggling to bring in ad revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Times said that it expects its ad revenue to be down roughly 50% next quarter from the same time last year.

What they're saying: “The Times’s business model, with its growing focus on digital subscription growth and diminishing reliance on advertising, is very well positioned to ride out this storm and thrive in a post-pandemic world," CEO Mark Thompson said in a letter to shareholders.

  • "We’ve seen historic audience levels and an unprecedented rate of subscriber growth as well as real pressure on advertising revenue."

The big picture: Top media executives have announced layoffs, furloughs and cuts to salaries and benefits as a result of the advertising market collapse.

Our thought bubble: Like a few other media companies that reported earnings recently, The Times still beat on revenue and earnings, suggesting that the majority of the impact that its business will face as a result of the coronavirus will come next quarter.

Go deeper: Coronavirus presents existential threat for news media

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