The New York Times added 301,000 digital subscribers in the first three months of 2021, its smallest increase since Q3 2019. However, that bump takes it to a total of 7.8 million subscribers across its print and digital platforms, which according to the NYT, keeps it on the path toward reaching 10 million subscribers by 2025. Digital subscriptions hit seven million, with print subscriptions continuing to slide. The Times also reported a 54 percent rise in adjusted operating profit (to $68 million) and a 6.6 percent boost in revenue (to $473 million). While advertising dropped by 8.5 percent (to $97 million), the NYT said it had expected ad revenues to fall by twice that number. The company expects ad revenue to grow considerably over 2021, rising between 55 and 60 percent.
Twitter purchases Scroll, an app that lets users read online articles minus interruptions from ads and pop-ups. To make up for the loss in ad revenues, publishers receive a portion of the $5-per-month fee that Scroll subscribers currently pay. Twitter says that it plans to incorporate Scroll into its forthcoming subscription service. “We want to reimagine what they’ve built to deliver a seamless reading experience to our hyper-engaged audiences and allow publishers to deliver cleaner content that can make them more money than today’s business models,” said Twitter VP, publisher products Mike Park.
New York Daily News staffers vote 55-3 to be represented by the NewsGuild of New York. The move comes as the paper’s parent company, Tribune Publishing, faces a May 21 shareholder vote to be acquired by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for slashing costs at the papers it operates. With the Daily News on board, eight of Tribune’s nine daily papers have union representation. The Guild wants Tribune shareholders to vote against the Alden acquisition and is actively involved in the search for an alternate buyer. Tribune bought the Daily News in 2017 for $1, and also assumed the paper’s debt. Since it took over, Tribune has slashed the Daily News staff by about 50 percent.