Digital subscription growth continues to serve as the engine powering the New York Times Company, as evidenced by its better-than-expected first quarter earnings posted Wednesday.
The Times reported net income of $30.2 million for the first three months of 2019, beating analysts’ expectations and outpacing the $22 million in net income it posted a year ago.
The newspaper continues to benefit from a growing digital subscriber base. For the first quarter of 2019, the Times added 223,000 digital-only subscriptions, bringing the total number of subscribers to 4.5 million.
It marks the third straight quarter that the Times has added more than 200,000 digital subscriptions, after adding 265,000 in the last three months of 2018 and 203,000 the quarter before. Moreover, digital advertising revenue rose 18.9% to nearly $56 million in quarter one of 2019.
Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company, called it “another strong quarter. In a statement, he said that the Times continues to close in on its mission to reach 10 million total subscribers by 2025, a goal announced when the company posted its earnings in February.
The Times has enjoyed a surge in subscribers since the 2016 election, making the paper a rare example of growth in a media industry that has endured one round of layoffs after another. The Times has not been completely impervious to those headwinds, but it has weathered the media economy better than most, thanks in part to its storied history.
“We will continue to invest in our journalism, product and marketing at elevated levels to attract and retain large numbers of new subscribers to the Times,” Thompson said Wednesday.