Investor’s Business Daily says profits doubled in 2017
Business and financial news company Investor’s Business Daily will see its profits double in 2017, according to its president in an interview Thursday.
“We think we’re producing content and information that you can’t get elsewhere, and customers are agreeing with that and paying for that,” said president Jerry Ferrara to Talking Biz News.
Ferrara declined to disclose the actual profit figure for the privately held company except to say that the profit was between seven- and eight-figures.
The financial results come more than a year after the Los Angeles-based company cut its five-days-per-week print newspaper down to one day and focused on its website and other products.
Digital subscriptions are up over 11 percent year-to-date despite an average subscription price that is approximately three times that of its competitors. A one-year digital and print subscription is $269 and includes an iPad edition.
The company has also been helped by expanding video. Video streams are up six times year-over-year. Video streams are also driving subscription conversion at a rate that is comparable to, and in some cases exceeds, conversion from news stories.
“The video strategy is not to replace the written word, but to complement it,” said Ferrara. “We’ve figured out a way to present videos in an easy-to-consume manner that are giving users information that is complementary to what the article is about. That is our approach.”
Ferrara added that many media companies are using video in the wrong way. A majority of Investor’s Business Daily’s video content is available to non-subscribers, and it uses the videos to drive subscriptions.
“You need to use video as just another extension of content creation,” he said. “We’ve been able to create videos in house with our existing team with expertise with video production, and it’s been a pleasant surprise.”
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.
The 40-year-old company also developed a new revenue stream by offering investor-focused webinars and live seminars. The monthly webinars typically draw between 4,000 to 6,000 registrants.
MarketSmith, the company’s digital investing platform, has grown year-over-year subscriptions by more than 20 percent. A lot of that growth comes from understanding the customer of that product and leveraging that information with customers of its other products, said Ferrara.
“We’re making decisions based on the next two or three or four years, and not just the next quarter,” said Ferrara. “We’re able to have a long-term strategy and execute on that strategy.”
In addition, Investor’s Business generated revenue by licensing its name to an exchange traded fund issue. The funds use the IBD brand.
“Other publishers can learn from what we’re doing,” said Ferrara. “Your brand can expand and grow. That’s going to help with diversifying your revenue streams.”
“It speaks to us being more than media publishing,” he added. “Our purpose is educating and informing investors. We do it through the media. But we exist for investors. I want to see media and publishing expand. I want to see more journalism out there. I’m a news junkie myself. There’s a big opportunity for media and publishing brands to expand beyond what they have already done.”