Profit Up at New York Times on Digital Growth and Cost Cuts

Advertising revenue dropped at The New York Times, but revenue for digital subscriptions and advertising sales both were up.

The New York Times Company reported on Thursday a better than had been expected growth in earnings during its second quarter that was helped by cuts in costs and digital growth, though revenue was down and had a continued weakness in the print business.

The New York Times as with other newspapers has had to rely more on subscription and circulation revenue of recent to offset the steady declines in revenue from print ads.

Over the past quarter, revenue from advertising fell by 5.5% to just over $148.4 million, led by a drop of 13% in print adverting.

Circulation revenue was up just 0.9% to end the quarter at $211.6 million, as the digital subscription push at the company and an increase in prices for home delivery helped offset a drop in the number of print copies that were sold.

The company is attempting to boost its mobile and Web audience to increase ad sales without undermining its steadily growing business of digital subscription.

Both revenue from digital subscription and sales from digital advertising were up 14% during the quarter, helped by paid posts, video and mobile.

The company noted that its digital growth was despite the decision to make its mobile app NYT Now, launched in 2014, free after a version that was paid had failed to garner the subscribers first anticipated.

The company has worked to attract younger readers, who now receive their news from a broader variety of nontraditional sources of which they are usually free.

The top digital executives at the newspaper argue that going after the younger reader aggressively on platforms that are outside the Times would persuade some of them to subscribe.

The newspaper has it total paid digital subscriptions at 990,000, which are up 19% compared to the same time last year, as the retention of subscribers improved, and the company added more subscribers living aboard.

Last week company executives said the newspaper surpassed the 1 million mark for digital subscriptions.

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