Internet advertising across the New York Times Company’s media groups was up 23.4 percent in February over the previous year; the increase is attributed to strong growth in display and classifieds. About.com’s ad revenue also continues ito be bright spot, up 75 percent over last year on strong cost-per-click growth. Display ads and increased revenues from telecom, finance, tech and retail also contributed to the growth. Press release.
Someone asked the other day if I thought NYTCO would be in the hunt to acquire the Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s always possible but it’s hard to envision any major newspaper acquisition until the problems with the New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe, are resolved. Advertising revenues for that group dropped 12 percent in February. The new integrated sales effort might help.
TimesSelect update: The fee-based service has more than 450,000 subs through March 19 but only 38 percent or so actually are paying directly for it. The other roughly 62 percent receive it as part of their print subscription. As of the 4Q earnings call in January, TimesSelect had passed the 390,000 mark with about 60 percent home-delivery subs and 40 percent online-only subs. Adding some 60,000 subs since then is a good sign and it’s important for the Times to continue to get more home-delivered subs on board, both so those subscribers feel like they’re getting value in light of the recent price increase and for ad sales. But TimesSelect was designed as an incremental revenue stream and right now it looks as though roughly one in three new TimesSelect users are paying for the access. It’s hard to tell how much money the online-only subs represent because the numbers now include the half-price academic option, in addition to the monthly and annual options, the discounts at the beginning, etc.
Related: TimesSelect Passes 390,000 Subs But Fewer Than Half Paying Extra For Privilege
– TimesSelect: Doing the Math
– TimesSelect Passes 270,000 Subscribers In 52 Days; Half Are Online-Only Subs