Media Briefing: What four publishers’ most up-to-date earnings reports state about the media change’s recovery

This week’s Media Briefing appears at at the most up-to-date round of earnings reports from publishers to sight what they signal about the media change’s skill to rebound to pre-pandemic levels.

Avenue to recovery

Publishers’ most up-to-date quarterly earnings support to expose to what extent the change has recovered from the pandemic’s impression on their companies.

A year after the commercial backside of the pandemic, some publishers salvage rebounded to the purpose of being in stronger shape than they had been pre-pandemic, per the most up-to-date earnings reports released by Information Corp., Gannett, Meredith and The New York Times. 

The essential hits:

  • Broken-down print publishers persevered their transition to running digital-led companies.
  • Digital ad revenue and digital subscriptions, in declare, salvage picked as a lot as surpass pre-pandemic levels.
  • Some publishers seen marketing and marketing revenue rebound stronger than subscription revenue; others seen the reverse.

Dow Jones

Dow Jones’ transition into changing actual into a basically digital creator has resulted in the Information Corp. division securing its most attention-grabbing profit “since its acquisition in 2007,” per the parent company’s most up-to-date earnings free up. The division, which is dwelling to The Wall Avenue Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s, recorded $69 million in profit — earnings earlier than passion, taxes, depreciation and amortization, in financial jargon — in contrast with $60 million in 2020 and $53 million in 2019.

Dow Jones seen its revenue for the quarter lengthen by 18% and by 13% in contrast with the same duration in 2019 to reach $449 million. Dow Jones’ digital commercial also grew to portray a honest greater majority piece of its general commercial, accounting for 72% of revenue in the quarter, up from 71% in 2020 and 63% in 2019.

Information Corp. doesn’t destroy out raw revenue figures for Dow Jones’ subscription and marketing and marketing companies. The corporate did advise that digital circulation revenue represented 65% of whole circulation revenue for the quarter, up from 61% in 2020, and that digital marketing and marketing revenue represented 56% of whole marketing and marketing revenue, up from 54% in 2020.

Dow Jones’ subscriber adversarial reached 4.5 million subscriptions in Q2 2021, up 19% over Q2 2020 and 36% over Q2 2019. Whereas Information Corp. didn’t destroy out digital-finest subscriptions right by the division, it did repeat that The Wall Avenue Journal had greater than 2.7 million digital-finest subscribers in the quarter and that those subscribers accounted for 79% of the newspaper’s whole subscriptions.


Juxtaposing Gannett’s commercial in 2021 to what it grow to be in 2019 is a little bit of annoying. It’s actually a sure company, having been received by New Media Investment Group in November 2019. When in contrast to 2019, Gannett’s general, marketing and marketing and circulation revenues all roughly doubled. But all but again, it’s effectively twice the company in 2021. 

Happily, the companies’ pre-merger quarterly filings are calm on hand. 

Including the two collectively paints a much less-than-rosy image, with the revenues wanting their 2019 blended marks right by the board. The corporate’s general revenue of $804.3 million grow to be 24% unnerved of the blended 2019 figure. Within the intervening time, circulation revenue grow to be down by 22% versus 2019 at $310.3 million, and marketing and marketing revenue grow to be down by 27% versus 2019 at $420.1 million.

Perhaps no longer surprisingly, the ad revenue shortfall falls on the print aspect. Gannett’s $200.9 million in print ad revenue in Q2 2021 grow to be 41% lower than the blended quantity in Q2 2019. In distinction, the company’s $219.2 million in digital ad revenue in Q2 2021 grow to be 48% greater than the blended Q2 2019 quantity.


Meredith fell wanting returning to its pre-pandemic revenue levels. Given the company is promoting off its native media commercial, we’ll focal point on Meredith’s nationwide media commercial, which homes its magazines and digital publications. 

Meredith’s general nationwide media revenue improved over 2020 by 16% to reach $514.9 million but grow to be unnerved of 2019’s $587.5 million mark.

The myth grow to be identical for the magazine division’s marketing and marketing revenue, which topped $235.5 million to be 26% greater than the 2020 quantity but grow to be 19% unnerved of the 2019 quantity. Furthermore, after digital ad revenue overtook print ad revenue for the essential time in the closing quarter of 2020, the pattern persevered in the most up-to-date duration. At $123.1 million, the nationwide media division’s digital ad revenue grow to be 22% greater than its print ad revenue. The quantity also just about doubled its 2020 figure and grow to be 24% greater than the 2019 figure.

When in contrast to the division’s subscription commercial, even supposing, the above is a success myth. The corporate’s $150.1 million in subscription revenue for its nationwide media division if truth be told slipped under no longer finest the 2019 figure (by 16%) but also the 2020 figure (albeit finest by 0.5%).

To be magnificent, Meredith has been promoting off some of its magazines in contemporary years, at the side of Shuttle + Leisure in 2021, and the company is making an are trying to pivot from promoting subscriptions by intermediaries to promoting them right away to folks, which it claims to be more profitable. At some stage in the company’s earnings call on Aug. 12, CFO Jason Frierott said the company’s subscriber adversarial has remained actual at 36 million subscriptions, and CEO Tom Harty said renewal rates for mutter-to-creator subscribers increased by 5% general and by 47% particularly for model fresh subscribers.

The New York Times

The New York Times’ subscription commercial is largely accountable for its bounce-support. Despite the newspaper creator’s subscription revenue having if truth be told grown by 8% year over year in the 2d quarter of 2020 — making for a more difficult comparability — it grew all but again in Q2 2021 and by a honest bigger margin, up 16% year over year to $339.2 million.

The bulk of the Times’ 7.9 million subscribers — 90% truly — are digital-finest customers. However the creator is seeing its digital-finest subscriber enhance originate to gradual. After rising by 50% between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020, the company’s general digital-finest subscriber enhance slowed to 26% year over year in Q2 2021. The deceleration utilized to both its recordsdata product subscription as well to its “a fashion of product” subscriptions, which embody subscriptions to NYT Cooking. Whereas the latter represented a lower percentage of subscribers and revenue — 23% of whole subscribers and 6% of whole subscription revenue — its enhance on both counts outpaced the relaxation of the Times’ subscription commercial.

The Times’ marketing and marketing commercial remains in recovery mode, even supposing. Whereas ad revenue in Q2 2021 grow to be up 66% over Q2 2020, the $112.8 million quantity grow to be 7% wanting the Q2 2019 quantity. On the opposite hand, as with Gannett, the Times’ marketing and marketing commercial is admittedly finest suffering on the print aspect. At $41.8 million, the company’s Q2 2021 print ad revenue grow to be 33% lower than the Q2 2019 mark. Digital ad revenue, on the a fashion of hand, grow to be 22% greater than Q2 2019 at $71.0 million.

The newspaper creator’s general revenue increased by 23% over 2020 and 14% over 2019 to hit $498.5 million. — Tim Peterson

What we’ve heard

“I attain doubtlessly a further 20% in website online visitors in Apple Information versus website online visitors, and it’s roughly unmonetized. Monetization in Apple Information is shocking.”

Publishing govt

The Digiday Crossword

Crosswords are the fresh sizzling element for subscription publishers, so why no longer add one to the Media Briefing? This one depends on a little bit of change knowledge, but no longer too grand. It will possibly presumably presumably also additionally be solved online here, or at the same time as you’re historical-college, you’re going to be ready to also print it out.

To make sure that you just hints (or salvage complaints), tweet them to @maxwillens. This grow to be all his doing.

The eight starred clues each salvage one tile that displays a change in the roughly recordsdata that publishers and marketers will soon want to rely upon.

All over

1 – Tech that enables Fb and Uber to focus on about with each a fashion of, e.g.; abbr.

4 – *How the 1% travels

10 – *Ryan Gosling condo flick

14- Coffee receptacle

15 – Oft-lined ’60s single “_____ Colour of Gentle”

16 – Glass part

17 – Profs’ assts.

18 – Snake sounds

19 – Lo cal

20 – Cable TV without the cable, abbr.

21 – Scoot in

22 – Political conspiracy realizing Q____

23 – Consumed

25 – Snake

27 – Wrestler John

28 – OPEC’s 2d most populous African advise

31 – Caviar, e.g.

33 – Farm storage construction

34 – Threw underhand

38 – Slangy duration of time for website online visitors or impression reselling

41 – Metric at the coronary heart of podcast marketing and marketing

42 – Whispered about, as recordsdata

43 – Long-running Guy Fieri show, to its followers

44 – Serial killer Son of ____

45 – Tech company that will presumably presumably close up killing FedEx and Barnes & Noble

46 – Wading rooster

47 – Rand who wrote about self-reliance (and depended on govt benefits)

48 – Curvy winter route

50 – *Bo, or Sunny, or Checkers

53 – “No person ever bought fired for getting ___” — commercial proverb

56 – Lennon muse

57 – Broccoli ____

58 – Reup, as a subscription

61 – Ad forex that, over time, finest goes in one course

64 – Egyptian sun god

65 – “Can’t, too busy”

66 – Blake Griffin jumped over one

67 – “How _____ Your Mother”

68 – Penitent one

69 – Sage model the Intercourse Pistols wrote a song about

70 – Minus, var.

71 – “_______, inquire of questions later”

72 – How grand cash a website online brings in, for transient


1 – 2nd-most attention-grabbing ad class, casually

2 – A fool, right by the pond

3 – The finest salvage Fb ever made

4 – *Unwelcome date participant

5 – The put one would possibly possibly presumably presumably salvage a no longer easy lesson

6 – Tear

7 – Lost

8 – Visionaries

9 – Enormous males (and women people) on campus, abbr.

10 – *It in general nets a bronze

11 – Northernmost eastern advise in the U.S.

12 – Church of Devil founder LaVey

13 – Indian actress Gupta

24 – 2,000 pounds

26 – Primps

28 – The basics, in transient

29 – Well-liked California wine situation

30 – Musty coworkers, or broken-down college students

32 – Now not even

35 – Grandma, am Graz

36 – Nickname for exec who built Fb’s mobile ad product

37 – Dude’s duration of time of address

38 – Valorous browser’s defining feature

39 – Onetime Spotify competitor built by Skype execs

40 – Standard kink acronym

42 – Biopic that earned Jamie Foxx an Oscar

46 – Knighted actor McKellen

47 – Bygone Shock show “_____ of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

49 – *The put headlines in general appear on CNN, or MSNBC

50 – *An completely vulgar put of abode

51 – Excessive-kicking Belgian Jean Claude Van _____

52 – Double reeds

54 – Liquid half of soup

55 – Harassment hashtag that grow to be a transitive verb

59 – Boy, en Barcelona

60 – Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, for transient

62 – What Xzibit as soon as did to at least one’s breeze

63 – Hurt

65 – Hennessey spokesrapper

Numbers to know

62%:  Share of publishing execs who said their companies generate some revenue from commerce, per respondents to a contemporary Digiday+ Learn be taught about.

$1 billion:  How grand cash Politico is reportedly seeking Axel Springer to pay to model the political recordsdata outlet.

$7.5 billion:  How grand cash proprietor Automattic is value.

$650 million:  How grand cash Forbes is reportedly value because the commercial recordsdata outlet appears to head public by SPAC IPO.

$1 billion:  How grand cash the rebranded Ziff Davis has secured to model more media properties.

3 questions with 6AM City’s Ryan Heafy

Native e-newsletter creator 6AM City has expanded its commercial in a desire of programs right by the last six months: rising its crew from 45 to 85, tripling the amount of markets it publishes in from eight to 24 and signing up just about double the need of subscribers it had at the tip of last year (275,000), bringing the whole to 500,000.

The growth trajectory doesn’t quit there for the five-year-historical media company. 6AM City is pacing to form $5 million in whole revenue this year, doubling its earnings from 2020. And per 6AM City COO Ryan Heafy, the realizing is to partly invest that actual into a brand fresh commercial opportunity — an e-commerce marketplace for native companies.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity. — Kayleigh Barber

How attain you envision commerce interior your commercial model? With a extraordinarily native focal point for your divulge material, are you imagining that you just’re going to work with native outlets in an affiliate skill?

We will be populating and launching an e-commerce retailer in [the third quarter] that spans all of our a fashion of cities with native merchandise. [We are] placing [a] indispensable effort in bringing on some extra [staffers] from merchandise and e-commerce backgrounds to support us in point of fact lengthen and form out that retailer considerably.

We deployed a local salvage hiss where we build out a call for creatives in all of our cities and salvage calm thousands of salvage submissions. We’re if truth be told procuring the rights to their designs and providing them with royalty [and the designs will be printed on the merchandise sold by the local retailers in the shop]. It will more than seemingly be native merchandise, designed by native graphic designers who will more than seemingly be showcased in the retailer. It’s luxuriate in the closing “shop native.”

How are you going to lend a hand your readership to shop with you?

​​We will more than seemingly be deploying a loyalty-based completely membership program [in tandem with] our retailer as effectively associated to a referral and rewards platform [in the fourth quarter]. The intent there is you peek at producers luxuriate in Barstool that attain so effectively in the commerce condo, tantalizing that is simply the logo loyalty and passion. [We are] connecting folks with their cities and there’s a mountainous opportunity for us to play [on fostering that local pride] in the commerce condo.

Native media has on the whole been gradual to adopt affiliate-based completely revenue and a fashion of commerce companies. What about your fresh commercial model makes you feel confident that launching a brand fresh e-commerce marketplace for native outlets and artists will lead to both producers and customers who are desirous to promote and shop by you?

By staying agenda-free and impartial, we are ready to design, defend, connect with, and grow our marketing and marketing relationships in native markets. [Advertisers] know it’s a actual condo and they’re no longer going to be subsequent to a bunch of politically divisive divulge material [which leads to more eyeballs on the ads]. Our conversion in the community delivers a closer ROI than just about any a fashion of [competitor] product accessible, so for us, a host of our communities, especially native and regional advertisers, also be taught about us as an economic trend system, and trim producers to be aligned with in the community.

Comparing how our model operates, and its relevance in the community, we’re in point of fact ready to roughly step out and shine as adverse to a fashion of of us in worn or [local] media areas. All people has roughly a sure viewers and intent and divulge material mix with their product, and we’re in point of fact making an are trying to drive economic impression in the community.

What we’ve lined

What Future plc is admittedly getting from its Dennis acquisition:

  • Future received a portfolio of Dennis-owned producers for £300 million ($416 million), no longer as a lot as three years after Exponent, Dennis Publishing’s parent company, bought Dennis for £167.4 ($231.9 million).
  • The deal presentations how a long way more crucial first-occasion recordsdata is changing into to publishers, while also giving Future viewers fortification in some verticals and a foothold in others.

Learn more about Future plc here.

Workers praised for pandemic productivity inquire of fresh pressures to reach support to the put of abode of job:

  • Media workers and unions are the usage of their a long way flung productivity to beat again against management’s requires that workers work from the put of abode of job at the very least about a days per week.
  • “Firm custom” has been among the causes companies salvage cited for calling workers support to the put of abode of job.

Learn more about put of abode of job return pressures here.

Digiday’s high traits of 2021 so a long way:

  • This week’s Digiday Podcast episode discusses the delta that the media and marketing and marketing industries are discovering themselves in.
  • The conversation ranges from companies’ put of abode of job-return plans to the advise of publishers’ marketing and marketing, subscription and commerce companies.

Listen to the most up-to-date Digiday Podcast episode here.

Confessions of a media employee on their skills returning to the put of abode of job:

  • A senior editor at a digital creator shared her skills of going into the put of abode of job since it opened this summer in NYC.
  • Now with masks required even at her desk, the editor is discovering there aren’t many causes to head in and is upset by the cases.

Learn more about the media employee’s skills here.

Why Trusted Media Manufacturers received viral video creator Jukin Media:

  • The creator of Reader’s Digest determined to amass Jukin Media as adverse to form an in-condo studio.
  • Jukin is a profitable company, as is TMB.

Learn more about Trusted Media Manufacturers here.

What we’re reading

BuzzFeed’s SPAC spat:

BuzzFeed investor NBCUniversal wasn’t psyched about BuzzFeed’s realizing to head public by SPAC IPO, per The Wall Avenue Journal. At distress grow to be BuzzFeed’s proposed $1.5 billion valuation, which grow to be lower than the creator’s valuation at the time when the Comcast-owned media conglomerate bought its BuzzFeed stake.

Substack’s global concerns:

As Substack brings more writers based completely originate air the U.S. onto its publishing platform, the company has to determine deal with the concerns that growth introduces, per Rest of World. Among the many failings at hand are what protections Substack would present to journalists in international locations where journalists are threatened as well to guarantee its product and infrastructure can adapt to nation-explicit concerns.

The New York Times’ union-busting blunder:

A lawyer for The New York Times by probability sent an electronic mail outlining the creator’s technique to deal with its tech and product workers’ unionization efforts to the workers’ representatives, per Day to day Beast. The incorrect missive incorporated slides that detailed a fashion of programs the Times would possibly possibly presumably presumably effectively undermine and even undo the union.

Amazon’s push into podcasting:

If a rising tide lifts all boats, Amazon’s acquisition of Wondery and deal to distribute a favored podcast known as “SmartLess” would possibly possibly presumably presumably portend a tsunami for the podcast marketing and marketing market, per Bloomberg. On the opposite hand, as grand as that on the whole is a boon to podcast publishers’ companies, it would possibly possibly per chance possibly presumably presumably also reach to bite them, reckoning on to what extent the e-commerce massive is put of abode on assuming ad sales rights.

Crimson Ventures’ affiliate attitude:

Digital marketing and marketing company Crimson Ventures has remade itself as a indispensable media company whose commercial is oriented around affiliate revenue, per The New York Times. The proprietor of CNET, Healthline and a fashion of enviornment of skills publications appears to be a model for publishers with revenue streams predicated on changing their readers actual into a fashion of companies’ customers.

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