The New York Times had better than expected revenue growth during the second quarter of the year, which it attributes in part to the growing appeal of its podcasts. The Times says total ad revenue grew by two-thirds from a year ago with digital advertising up even more, increasing nearly 80%. And even without the impact of COVID, digital ad revenue grew 22% from the second quarter of 2019.
The company said it had better than expected gains from larger technology and financial services advertisers. And during a conference call with analysts Wednesday, CFO Roland Caputo said they expect those gains to continue with digital advertising projected to climb 40% to 45% during the third quarter. Total advertising revenues in the quarter are expected to increase 30% to 35%.
“Our advertising business is no doubt benefitting from an advertising market recovery, but we also believe we are seeing the effects of the groundwork we laid to build competitive advantages,” said CEO Meredith Kopit Levien. The company’s “large and growing suite of hit podcasts” is among them, she said on the conference call.
Kopit Levien said the Times is also continuing to explore the potential of subscription audio. “Last year we acquired Serial Productions, which we continue to be very excited about,” she said, suggesting those first products could come from that team rather than putting a paywall around its flagship morning news podcast The Daily.
Overall, the Times said its total revenue increased 23.5% during the second quarter compared to a year ago, to $498.5 million. It said it also now has more than eight million paid subscriptions across its digital and print products.