Print Media Cases: Print, Paywalls, Publishers

By pjain      Published May 26, 2021, 3:20 a.m. in blog Business-Management   

Print Media Key Factors

Sensationalism, War boosts Demand

  • Pandemic actually REDUCED interest in print media but overall interest jumped in 2020, when NYT had a sharp gain in readership. It was one of the heaviest news cycles in recent memory, as the country was battered by the coronavirus pandemic, saw the rise of a social justice movement after the killing of George Floyd and voted in a hotly contested presidential election.

Digital Subscriber Growth needs Heavy Capex to boost content and spend on Marketing attract users

  1. While local newspapers are cutting costs, reporters, etc. NYT is boosting Capex to boost content, hiring top reporters and to attract users.

  2. Spending money to make revenue. In Q1'2021, capex for NYT should reach $50m - like a tech SaaS startup!

  3. Spend on Marketing to attract users via targeting channels where digital users reside!

Ads cannot sustain "Free" - but help mainstream Print ads, nice boost to Income

  • Even the paywall majors (NYT, WSJ) allow some high eCPM limited Ads posing as interest pieces

  • NYT 2021Q1 Advertising fell lower than expected by 8.5% to $97 m. Digital Ads jumped 16.3% to $59.5m, largely from more direct sales of display banners and podcast commercials. The company had expected double that decline. NYT's Advertising is expected to pick up mightily. The company estimates a 55 percent to 60 percent jump from last year, when ad spending was severely curtailed because of the pandemic. Digital advertising is likely to rise even more, at 70 percent to 75 percent.

Ads Lift from internal First Party Cookies and Tracking

NYT’s trove of first-party data. The company can harness its database of subscribers to target ads. That means it doesn’t rely on third-party tracking software, which has fallen out of favor as privacy concerns mount. Apple, for example, just updated its software to make it harder to track users across apps on its iPhones, a change that does not affect first party ad business.

Not just Print - podcasts, television and film content development

NYT has gotten bigger as it invests in podcasts, television and film development. Total audio listeners, including for “The Daily,” grew 30 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, largely from the addition of new podcasts.

Digital Media replaces subs loss, boosts Profit margins

NYT is leader to proactively promoting goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025. NYT has improved its profit margins as its digital business — which costs less than print — continues to rise.

Success means Higher Labor Costs

NYT has had to enter negotiations with the NewsGuild, the union that represents about 1,400 newsroom employees as it seeks increased salaries and benefits and work rule changes improving diversity and inclusion.

Multi-tier Freemium vs Solid Paywall Strategies

  • Paywalls STRICTLY Enforced Strategies
  • Unlike some sites, well financed sites like WSJ, NYT STRICTLY Enforce paywalls, you cannot get by with blocking overlays

  • NYT has a multi-tier subscriber strategy allowing it a varied price strategy

  • Links promoted on distributor media e.g. Flipboard, Yahoo, etc. to bring
  • Limited Ads posing as interest pieces
  • Free search allowed 1-ish article after a search engine
  • Registered users — 100 m for NYT can read a limited number of free articles before being asked to pay.
  • Newsletter subscribers - NYT tries to convert people into paying subs as 15m people read its cache of newsletters. 5m dau The Morning, the flagship newsletter, etc.
  • Digital only Subscription - allow search
  • Print Subscription delivered daily 5 days a week
  • Digital and Print Subscription

Ref

Newspapers

Publishing

NY Times Wins Big - Liberal Media Support

NYT is leader to proactively promoting goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025. NYT has improved its profit margins as its digital business — which costs less than print — continues to rise.

Meredith Kopit Levien, the chief executive has followed through on digital paywall subscription.

NYT Timeline

  • Nov 2020 - Biden wins over Trump, supported by Liberal Media - NYT most respected

Q1'21 op profit of $68 million, a 54 percent jump from last year, as it generated more dollars from each subscriber, partly because of the expiration of promotional rates as the new year rolled over. - Total revenue rose modestly, about 6.6%, to $473m. - Met expectations for subscription sales, which rose 15% to $329m; - 2021-05 Tops 7.8m subs, adds of 300k digital subscribers in Q1 SLOWest since 2019Q3 - Digital subscriptions vaulted 38% to $179.6m. - Advertising fell lower than expected by 8.5% to $97 m. Digital Ads jumped 16.3% to $59.5m, largely from more direct sales of display banners and podcast commercials. The company had expected double that decline. - Online subscriptions and digital advertising together rose 32%, to $239m, and the print business continued its steady decline.

WSJ Niche Market Succeeds

Other Print Newspapers

NY Post is Profitable

Washington Post eras


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