November 8, 2019
The failing New York Times may not just be a cute nickname anymore.
Stock of the company plunged as much as 7% on Wednesday, finishing the session down about 4%, on news that its revenue from advertising continues to decline.
The company reported this week that ad revenue for its print version is down 9.7% year over year and down 17.2% for its digital version. Print advertising fell 7.9% while digital advertising fell 5.4%. Despite this, the company also reported a jump in subscribers, to 4 million digital-only and 4.9 million total subscribers.
On its earnings call, the company pivoted from advertising to its new “partnership” with Facebook News, according to the Wrap.
CEO Mark Thompson commented: “More important than the immediate financial benefits of the agreement is its strategic significance.”
He continued: “We previously received small payments for participation in various experiments and innovations, but Facebook News is different because this is the first time that a Silicon Valley major has recognized the value of Times journalism to its platform with a substantial multi-year deal.”
Facebook News launched in October but has generated headlines of its own for its plan to license content from “trusted” news outlets for millions of dollars.
New York Times executive vice president and chief operating officer Meredith Kopit Levien said: “We decided to participate because we saw a substantial increase in amount of money Facebook was ready to commit and it represented a step change in what we’ve seen from a platform before.”
While this partnership may prove to be a point for optimistic fodder now, it belies a very real problem that the NY Times is having: despite subscriptions on the rise, people just don’t want to advertise with them like they used to.
And with traditional ad revenue declining, should Facebook News bomb or the platform eventually start to see attrition, it’ll be back to the drawing board in a big way for the the news outlet.
Shareholders on Wednesday seemed to feel the same way.
This article was posted: Friday, November 8, 2019 at 6:57 am