NYTCo Q4 Preview: Digital Ad Growth Is Slowing


In advance of the company’s appearance at this week’s UBS Media conference, the New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) says that digital advertising is expected to end in Q4 10 percent higher than it did the year before. In the previous quarter, NYT Company execs said that digital now accounted for 27 percent of all revenues. While still healthy, this is a bit lower than Q3’s 14 percent jump on online revenues, suggesting that the weakness in the economy is tempering spending during the crucial holiday season. It’s also worth pointing out that in Q409, NYTCo’s digital revenues were up 11 percent.

This week’s ad industry forecasts have been particularly bullish on digital advertising, particularly display. So compared to the general online ad market, the NYTCo is trending a bit down, but not by much.

Healthy growth numbers are predicted for next year, but for the NYTCo, the wild card is whether or not its online display dollars will be negatively — or positively, which is a possibility — impacted by the transition of its flagship’s site to a metered pay model. The company has said all along that the plan it has in place was designed to minimize any drop off in ad dollars. Whether the money collected by the meter will provide an immediate boost is also uncertain, though it could very well be the case.

Meanwhile, print and circulation are still declining, but not as much. Both are slated to be down about 4 percent.

The company had to pay out $25 million in severance in Q409, and costs this time should be about 3 percent lower. The main areas of expense are getting ready to shift the NYTimes.com to a metered pay model early next year and higher newsprint prices. Release

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