In their year-end earnings results, the news giant reported a whopping 46% increase in their online subscription sales, representing $340m in subscription revenue.
It’s not just a rogue spike either — 46% is their average annual growth rate since launching their paywall in 2011. To put that in perspective, that means the Times’ subscriber growth is currently at or above pace with Google (23%) and Facebook’s (47%) business growth.
Not bad for a 166-year-old newspaper company…
“I’m not dead yet!” — Print
But it’s definitely in critical condition: The Times’ print revenue has dropped 21% in the past 7 years. Luckily, they saw the writing on the walls and made the leap to digital before the light left their eyes.
In 2011, they introduced a freemium model for digital subscriptions, and slowly whittled their free article count from 20 down to a measly 5.
Now, with online subscribers and digital ads combined, they’re doing $578m in annual digital revenue, prompting them to set an even more ambitious goal — $800m in digital subscriptions by 2020.
But will it be enough?
With their $1B+ print revenue business dying a slow, gradual death, the question is whether their digital strategy will grow fast enough to save them…
Or if they’ll be left black, white, and red all over.
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