The New York Times beat Wall Street’s earnings expectations by two pennies for the third fiscal quarter of 2016. The Manhattan-based paper of record just missed on media analysts’ revenue forecasts, however, reporting $363.5 million versus an estimated $365 million.
Circulation revenues increased 3.0 percent, while advertising revenues declined 7.7 percent and other revenues increased 1.0 percent. More specifically, Q3 print advertising revenue decreased 18.5 percent while digital ad sales increased 21.4 percent. Unfortunately for NYT, digital represents only a hair over one-third of the company’s overall ad sales.
“This quarter proved yet again that The New York Times has a very compelling digital revenue story to tell,” CEO Mark Thompson stated Wednesday morning in a media release. “We saw exceptional gains in our digital consumer business, with a net increase of 116,000 subscriptions to our news products, more than twice as many as the same quarter last year and far more than any quarter since the pay model launched in 2011.”
“We had a strong quarter in digital advertising as well, returning to growth in the quarter, 21 percent year- over-year,” he continued. “We saw solid performances in virtual reality, video, branded content and programmatic advertising.”
The Times recently purchased five-year-old product recommendation service The Wirecutter and its sister site The Sweethome. Recode reported that the deal is for more than $30 million.
Like many newspaper publishers, The New York Times has been hit hard by declining print circulation and ad revenue as well as increased costs in moving to digital operations.