The New York Times Company added about 180,000 net digital subscribers only in the second quarter but generated less revenue from digital advertising, it said Wednesday.
The Times now has 9.17 million paying subscribers. she has target 15 million by the end of 2027.
The company reported $76 million in adjusted operating profit, 18 percent lower than the same quarter last year. It generated total revenue of $555.7 million, an increase of 11.5 percent over the previous year. Digital subscriptions made up $238.7 million of that revenue, up 25.5 percent.
The damage to operating profits was mostly from losses at The Athletic, the sports news site Bought The Times in February for $550 million. The Athletic’s adjusted operating loss was $12.6 million for the quarter, from April to June, down from about $19.4 million in the first quarter.
The Times reported that 9.107 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2022. This number has been revised in the results for this quarter to 9.01 million.
A key part of The Times’ strategy is to differentiate subscribers from subscriptions. One subscriber may have a subscription to more than one of the company’s products, which include The Athletic, Cooking, and Wirecutter. The Times is betting on compiling digital offerings with its news report to reach new audiences with a variety of interests.
“News remains central to our value proposition, but the package helps ensure that The Times is indispensable to an ever-widening group of people, even as news sharing fluctuates,” Meredith Cobit Levian, President and CEO of The Times Company said in a call with analysts. .
Ms. Levine said that in the second quarter, the company had the highest number of new subscribers ever in the All Digital Access category, which includes The Times News, Games, Cooking, Wirecutter and The Athletic.
The net gain of just 180,000 digital subscribers was a 70% increase over the net profit in the second quarter of 2021. The company added significantly more in the first quarter of the year, 418,000. Athletic added a net increase of 50,000 independent subscribers last quarter.
The vast majority of The Times subscribers pay for digital access only. The number of print subscribers continued to shrink in the second quarter, down nearly 7 percent from a year earlier, to about 761,000.
The Times Company’s digital advertising revenue in the second quarter fell 2.4% from a year earlier, to $69.3 million, as marketers cut back their spending in the face of economic uncertainty. Print advertising rebounded 15.1 percent, to $48.1 million, compared to the same quarter last year, as the entertainment and luxury categories began to recover from the pandemic.
Total operating costs rose 19.6 percent to $504 million. The company also recorded a $34.2 million gain from the sale of land at the Times printing facility in College Point, Queens.
The company said it expects digital subscription revenue to grow in the third quarter by 21 to 25 percent compared to last year. It said it expects a steady or small decline in total advertising revenue and a 9 to 13 percent increase in adjusted operating costs in that period.
The company’s shares fell by 1 percent at the close of trading on Wednesday.