The New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, will reduce free access to its news articles online starting in April to increase digital subscriptions amid declining print sales.
The Times Co. will reduce the number of stories available to non-paying users to 10 a month from 20, according to statement today from the New York-based company. Readers who come to articles through links shared via e-mail, blogs or social media channels such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. can read stories even after going past the limit.
The publisher started its digital-subscription program a year ago with The New York Times website to stem losses from the industrywide drop in print advertising caused by marketing dollars shifting online. Times Co.’s revenue has declined every year since 2006, driving its stock down more than 70 percent over the same period.
U.S. newspapers lost $10 in print advertising sales for every $1 gained online last year, Pew Research Center said this month. That’s a sharper loss than in 2010, when newspapers lost $7 in print advertising for every $1 made from digital outlets.
The Times Co. said today it had 454,000 online subscribers to all its news sites, including the Boston Globe and the International Herald Tribune, as of March 18. That’s up from 406,000 at the end of last year. The company hasn’t broken out the online subscribers for the New York Times website since September, when the number was 324,000.
“We knew that readers placed a high value on our journalism, and we anticipated they would respond positively to our digital subscription packages,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said in the statement.
Time Co. rose 0.7 percent to $6.92 at the close in New York. The stock has declined 10 percent this year.
Separately, the company last week announced the appointment of Marc Frons as chief information officer, reporting to both Chief Financial Officer James Follo and Chief Advertising Officer Denise Warren. He replaces Joseph Seibert, who will be leaving the company.
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