Investor’s Business Daily, one year later, thrives with apps, website
Investor’s Business Daily, which one year ago cut its five-days-per-week print newspaper down to one day, expects to record its most profitable year since the 2008 financial crisis due to the strength of its website and new digital products.
Unique visitors to its Investors.com website have increased by more than 200 percent in the past year and now average between 4 million and 5 million per month.
It also acquired Marketsmith, a digital investing platform, and has increased subscribers — who pay $1,500 a year — by 15 percent to that service. And it’s hosted more than 50 investing summits and webcasts in the past year, creating another revenue stream. Some of those workshops have had as many as 8,000 readers sign up.
“We made a major transformation,” said President Jerry Ferrara in an interview with Talking Biz News. “Our customer base and our users demanded that. We listened to what we have been hearing from our customers and looked at the data points. We started putting this in place about three years ago, shifting away from the traditional model of five days a week and to mobile first.”
Ferrara declined to provide specific revenue and profit figures for the privately held company but said that revenue per subscriber has increased by 25 percent and that the SwingTrader product and mobile app created by IBD has generated more than a seven-figure number in revenue, “which the majority of was pure profit.”
Ferrara said the company is planning more mobile products centered around financial information, news and analysis. “The prospects for us are strong, and it’s not about just lowering the operating costs of not having the print five days a week,” he said. “It’s about increasing digital.”
Investor’s Business Daily became a weekly newspaper on May 2, 2016, resulting in 20 newsroom job cuts. The newspaper added a paywall to its website more than a decade ago. The publication’s stock listings include a proprietary ratings system.
Ferrara said that the company didn’t anticipate losing subscribers “who were subscribing to IBD in lieu of their local publication. That’s where they got their general news. We did take a bit of a haircut on those customers who were fully engaged on the five-day-a-week Investor’s Business Daily. But these were customers who hardly ever signed on to the website.”
The weekly print newspaper has been close to flat in terms of revenue. “We priced the product accordingly,” said Ferrara. “We were able to make up for the losses with some of the digital gains and bundled subscription packages. The gains have come from higher-margin digital products.”
A one-year digital and print subscription is $279 and includes an iPad edition.
The weekly print newspaper is now available in more retail locations than this time last year, and the company says that more than 90 percent of subscribers report reading three or more IBD Weekly issues per month.
“We’re not satisfied,” said Ferrara. “We know we need to evolve and continue to deliver products for a customer base that is changing by the second. We think the weekly IBD is a strong product. We’re not discounting it. I think some premier publishers do themselves a disservice by undercutting their price points.”