Print circulation and print advertising used to the bread and butter of news outlets. The Internet came along and also turned the industry onto its head. Digital subscriptions suddenly became possible. Folks started to pay for online access more and more; which would cannibalize the print business. As fewer readers read the papers, print advertising took a hit. Advertising became annoying to users who were willing to pay for the luxury of reading content in peace.
News outlets have to respond to survive. Names such as New York Times, Wall Street Journals, Washington Post or The Atlantic are leading the charge among outlets to have a strong subscription business. I spent some time digging through the numbers from The Times’ earnings reports to see how its digital subscription transformed over the years. This is how you can understand NYT business
The digital sub count and digital news sub count reach all time high in Q3 2019
The gap between Digital News Subscription Revenue and Print Subscription has been contracting since 2016
In terms of its importance to the subscription segment, digital subscription revenue has been on the rise. In Q3 2019, it made up slightly more than 43% of the total subscription business, the all-time high mark
Hence, digital subscription increasingly became an important part of the total revenue