Digital Publishers Report New Growth in 2017

Digital publishers at New York Times and Harvard Business Review see growth in subscriptions; Popular Science sees a rise in sales

As digital publishers continue to iron out their audience and product strategies, the ones doing it the best are seeing growth in areas that matter: digital subscriptions and sales.

Our first story today looks at the New York Times and its better-than-anticipated second quarter. WWD reports, “Total revenue for the second quarter of 2017 increased 9.2 percent to $407.1 million from $372.6 million in the second quarter of 2016 and subscription revenues increased 13.9 percent, while advertising revenues increased 0.8 percent and other revenues rose 12.8 percent. Wall Street expected 14 cents a share on revenue of $393.9 million.”

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Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer said, “During the quarter, we surpassed two million digital-only news subscriptions, doubling our digital subscriber base over a two-year period. The company added 93,000 net digital-only news subscriptions, a 69 percent increase in the number of subscription additions compared with the same quarter last year, and total advertising revenue grew for the first time since [the third quarter of] 2014, driven by continued strength in digital advertising.”

He said, “we believe that more and more people are prepared to pay for high-quality in-depth journalism that helps them make sense of the world.”

Our next story looks at growth from Harvard Business Review, which is boasting a new redesign and a lower frequency. Talking New Media reports, “In the past six months, HBR’s overall paid circulation increased from 276,428 to 304,680 – a 10.2% gain. (As filed with AAM. Subject to audit.) This achievement reflects all-time high renewal rates, strong production of new subscriptions through digital marketing efforts, and strong performance of HBR’s January-February and March-April issues on the newsstand.”

The article continues with a look at the changes HBR has experienced so far this year. “2017 has been a transformative year for HBR. In January, it introduced a bold new magazine design that delivers a more premium reading experience. As part of the redesign, HBR changed its frequency from 10 to six issues a year while expanding its array of digital, subscriber-only content. It also introduced The Big Idea, a new interactive approach to launching longform features with authors.”

For our final story of the day, we turn to the digital publishers at Popular Science for their growth of digital and print audiences. Folio: reports, “With a shift to a single-topic per issue layout, PopSci also faces a significant aesthetic redesign, changing the actual look and feel of the magazine.”

In addition to an increase in newsstands sales, PopSci.com has expanded its digital audience, with pageviews up by 58 percent year over year in June, according to a company statement.”

The article continues with a look at how the audience has shifted over the past year. “Over the past 8 months, we’ve shifted from 26% female readers to a split that hovers right around 50/50.”

Are you among the digital publishers looking to bring your magazine and newsletter content to the forefront of digital transformation? If so, set up a time to chat with us. We have helped a diverse array of digital publishers build digital magazines, websites and audiences, and can help you, too.

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