Whoa. Just: Whoa.

Posted by: Jon Fine on March 20, 2007

The New York Times Co. reports its February revenues.

It is not pretty:

The New York Times Company announced today that in February 2007 advertising revenues from continuing operations decreased 6.0% and total Company revenues from continuing operations decreased 3.6% compared with February 2006.

(snip)

The New York Times Media Group - Advertising revenues for The New York Times Media Group decreased 7.5%.

(snip)

New England Media Group - Advertising revenues for the New England Media Group decreased 4.0%.

(snip)

Regional Media Group - Advertising revenues for the Regional Media Group decreased 8.1%.

The Times, groping for good news, updates TimesSelect data—and gives further evidence that rising Web revenues do not cancel out falling print revenues:

The Internet ad revenues included in the three media groups above rose 14.3%. . Year-to-date Internet revenues at the three media groups increased 20.5%

(snip)

TimesSelect, the fee-based product on NYTimes.com that includes The Times’s distinctive columnists and extensive access to its archives, currently has approximately 639,000 subscribers, with about 66% receiving TimesSelect as a benefit of their home-delivery subscriptions and 34% receiving it from online-only subscriptions.

34% of 639,000 = 217,260 paying subscribers.

Assuming all of these people are paying full freight yearly subscriptions—not guaranteed, that—that’s $10.9 million in revenue.

Is it worth $10.9 million to the Times for it to wall off its columnists? You tell me.

Reader Comments

Steve

March 20, 2007 6:36 PM

They may be making a few bucks but alieanating ever more people from the New York Yimes brand, sort of how Microsoft does it with their monopoly. And in reality are the opinions from their columists that important. There used to be a nice outside service called "The Annotated New York Times" that was a great discussion point on the columnists that is now password protected and under a New York Times domain listing. There's a New York Times example of living and breathing the principle of free press and expression.

new york

March 24, 2007 8:41 AM

The Times recently created an exception to their "Times Select" policy--an exception big enough to drive a truck through.

Specifically, anyone with an .edu email address (eg, robert@mit.edu) now can get Times Select without charge. Nominally aimed at students and teachers, it also includes the hundreds of thousands of alumni (even if they graduated decades ago) who sign up for email accounts through their former schools.

I suspect this is the first step in reversing the Times Select policy.

K T Cat

March 25, 2007 10:10 AM

People want information and they prefer it be accurate and insightful. Over at the NYT, Paul Krugman still has a job. You'd have to dig deeply into the wacko wing of the blogosphere to find someone who has been as dreadfully wrong as often as Paul Krugman.

If shrewd commentary is the product being sold, then the NYT has nothing to sell.

Jack Okie

March 25, 2007 12:46 PM

I was grateful they put TimesSelect behind a fireall to counter my occasional perverse urge to peek at a Dowd, Krugman or Rich column.

travelina

March 25, 2007 10:11 PM

You've got to offer some pretty outstanding journalism to get folks to pay for the kind of commentary they can find free everywhere else.

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