May 5, 2021 - Economy

More NYT subscriptions coming from non-news products in the Biden era

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The New York Times on Wednesday said it added 301,000 new digital-only subscribers last quarter, its slowest quarter for digital subscriber growth in over a year.

Yes, but: New subscriber growth was weighted much more heavily this quarter towards non-news products than in any other previous quarter in the company’s history. A record 44% of The Times’ new digital subscribers came from non-core news products, like cooking, games and audio, last quarter.

  • Typically, the percentage of new subscribers from non-news products hovers around 25-35%.

By the numbers: Of The Times’ 301,000 net new digital subscribers added last quarter, 134,000 came from its cooking, games and audio products.

  • Another 167,000 new subscribers were added to its core news products.
  • In total, The Times now has nearly 8 million paid subscribers, which is far ahead of even its closest news competitors — The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: Times executives for years have emphasized that The New York Times isn’t just a newspaper, but a lifestyle services company.

  • In the post-Trump news cycle, that focus on lifestyle services has already begun to serve The Times well, offering it a financial cushion when the news cycle is slow.

Bottom line: The Times had a stated goal of reaching 10 million paid subscribers by 2025. Despite a news cycle slowdown, it’s well on its way to meeting that goal ahead of schedule.

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