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2012-08-02

Newspapers: more money from subscribers, less from ads

The newspaper landscape has been changing for quite a while: Print subscriptions decline and while digital subscriptions increase, newspapers compete with free content on the web. One interesting recent development is that newspapers are increasingly funded by subscribers and less by ads.

New York Times

Quoting “The New York Times Is Now Supported by Readers, Not Advertisers” by Joe Coscarelli for Daily Intel:
At the company's big three papers — the Times, International Herald Tribune, and Boston Globe — print and digital ad dollars dipped 6.6 percent to $220 million, while circulation revenue was up 8.3 percent to $233 million. The historical rebalancing, which occurred at the News Media Group for the first time in Q1, may indicate a sea change in an industry that has long relied on advertising to stay afloat.
Several factors contributed to this shift: On one hand, print ads are declining and online ads have not yet gained much traction. On the other hand, digital subscription is more successful than anticipated and subscribers were OK with an increase in print subscription costs.

Financial Times

Quoting “Financial Times Hits Circulation High as Digital Subscriptions Surpass Print” by Lauren Indvik for Mashable:
The Pearson PLC-owned newspaper [Financial Times] announced Friday that it now has 600,000 subscribers — the highest in its 124-year history. The milestone was achieved primarily through an increase in digital subscriptions, which surpassed print for the first time.
...
Online advertising revenues continued to grow, but wasn’t enough to offset declines in other advertising categories. “Advertising demand remains volatile and visibility poor,” Pearson PLC said in a statement.

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