The New York Times doubles down on digital future, announces e-comm, Magic Leap deals

A dive into Magic Leap was one of NYT's announcements on the heels of its Q2 2018 earnings / New York Times Company via Twitter

The New York Times Company announced the rise of its subscriber base to more than 3.8m total subscriptions, of which 2.9m of them are digital-only.

That announcement, as part of its quarterly report, was credited with helping the publisher’s profit rise to $40m in Q2 2018, up from the $26.5m it was at in Q2 2017. The profit was offset by lower advertising revenue and higher marketing revenue of its digital offerings, making adjusted operating profit $59.4m.

Mark Thompson, president and chief executive of The New York Times Company, said: “We added 109,000 net new digital-only subscriptions, of which 68,000 were to our core news bundle. At the end of Q2, we had 3.8 million total subscriptions, 2.9 million of which were digital-only. Our subscribers who came to us around the 2016 Election and post-Election periods continue to retain better than previous cohorts.”

He also assured investors that subscription-based revenue, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the Times’ total income may trend upward, and that brand marketers will follow.

He considered the quarter a subdued one, but added: “We remain confident that we will return to strong year-over-year growth in the third quarter.“ Turning to advertising, this was a subdued quarter for digital advertising as we predicted, but we remain confident that we will return to strong year-over-year growth in the third quarter.”

The Times Company made two more announcements to further take advantage of its rising digital presence. First, the company became the first and only publisher member of Magic Leap’s One Creator Edition. Through the launch of a mixed-reality immersive journalism experience through the wearable's platform, readers had the ability to check out the damage caused by a recent volcano explosion in Guatemala.

It also has made its own push into an e-commerce day of its own that may rival Amazon Prime Day, through its recently-acquired site Wirecutter. NYT announced August 21 as Wirecutter Deal Day, where readers of the site can take advantage of specialized deals of “rarely-on-sale items” that its product reviewers scoured.

Adam Burakowski, deals editor for the publication said in a blog post: “Wirecutter picks for our readers. Sometimes we wish we could do more — and now we are.”

“The way we cover deals at Wirecutter has always taken a different angle than deals coverage everywhere else. On any given sales holiday, we’ll sift through tens of thousands of discounted items for hours on end just so we can pull out a handful of good deals on Wirecutter picks for our readers.”

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