The publisher said in an announcement on Monday that the companies will “work together on tools for content distribution and subscriptions, using Google tools for marketing, ad product experimentation, and further on Subscribe with Google and Google Ad Manager”.
The value of the deal is unclear. It is also unknown whether The New York Times has, like News Corp, signed up as a partner of Google News Showcase. As previously reported by Press Gazette, Google has repeatedly delayed the launch of Showcase in the US, apparently because it has struggled to sign up publishing partners.
The deal has been announced shortly after The New York Times, like all other big US news publishers, lost Facebook News as a source of licensing revenue because Meta closed down the revenue-sharing programme.
Meredith Kopit Levien, chief executive of The New York Times Company, acknowledged the Google deal in a results call with investors on Wednesday. She said: “We signed a multi-year commercial agreement with Google at the end of the year, which stretches across many facets of our business, including content distribution, marketing and product experimentation. We’ll begin to see the financial benefits of this deal starting in 2023.”
In its fourth quarter 2022 results, the NYT revealed that it ended the year with 9.55 million paid subscribers who paid for 10.98 million subscriptions across print and digital between them. Some 8.83 million of the subscribers and 10.26 million of the subscriptions were classified as digital-only.
Kopit Levien said the company had added 240,000 net new digital subscribers in the fourth quarter, and just over one million across 2022 as a whole.
The New York Times, which boosted its paying reader numbers with the acquisition of The Athletic last year, has set itself the goal of reaching 15 million subscribers by the end of 2027.
The company revenues came in at $668m for the last three months of the year, up 12.3% on the same quarter in 2021. Operating profit was $93m, down slightly (from $94m) due to losses from The Athletic and a “one-time charge related to the company’s withdrawal from a multiemployer pension plan”.
For the whole of 2022, the NYT’s revenues were $2.31bn, up 11.3%. Subscriptions accounted for $1.55bn of revenues, up 14%, while advertising, up 5.2%, earned a turnover of $523m.
In the fourth quarter, digital advertising revenue grew 0.6% to $112m, while print advertising grew more strongly by 2.6% to $67m. Print ad growth came “primarily in the luxury category,” the Times said. Over 2022 as a whole, digital ad revenue grew 3.2%, from $309m to $318m, while print ad sales were up 8.4%, from $189m to $205m.
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