WSJ saw 9% circulation revenue growth in first quarter
Susan Panuccio, the chief financial officer of News Corp., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch.com, made the following comments during Wednesday’s earnings conference call:
At Dow Jones, advertising revenues were relatively flat with the prior year, excluding the impact of the closure of the Wall Street International print editions in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. It is worth highlighting that this was the best advertising performance by Dow Jones in recent quarters.
At Dow Jones, circulation revenues grew 7%. And at The Wall Street Journal they grew 9%, benefiting from strong growth in its digital-only subscribers, which were up 20% year-over-year. We raised subscription prices this quarter ranging from $2 to $6 per month, which will be phased in to existing members throughout the year.
And I think if we just focus on Dow Jones, obviously, the size of the market within the U.S. is very large as well as internationally. And just to give you sort of a sense, we had about 93 million nonsubscriber website visitors in Q1 made up of first-time repeats and even former subscription visitors. So there is a big opportunity, obviously, within that pool of people to drive conversions. And The Wall Street Journal customer base is only 11% made up of international subscription. And given the brand and the strength of that brand on a global scale, we do expect to see growth within international going forward.
The entire conference call transcript can be read here.