CEO sees international potential with Dow Jones properties
News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson made the following comments on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call:
Dow Jones is a media business that we believe had a distinctive ability to prosper in the digital age. The Wall Street Journal recorded 14% growth in digital-only paid subscribers, who now account for over 69% of the total subscriber base of 2.6 million. Circulation revenue trends at Dow Jones remained robust, rising 7% for the year, well above the rates of the New York Times and others in the industry. Since separation in 2013, Dow Jones’ consumer circulation revenues have grown more than 40%.
And within that category, digital revenues at the Wall Street Journal had expanded by almost 150%. Advertising trends improved in Q4 for The Wall Street Journal. And in July, both print and digital advertising revenue were higher than a year earlier. As we look to the future, we believe that Dow Jones could attract a significantly larger subscription base by directions, subscriptions and through content partnerships.
We have particular optimism about the international potential of Dow Jones given the relatively low non-U.S. share, 12% of subscribers today. We are also seeing the increasing ability of the Dow Jones team, deploying customized artificial intelligence to sell special Financial News and data products to professional and wealthy individual subscribers. The Dow Jones professional information business posted revenue growth for the second consecutive year after a period of transition, overcoming currency headwinds.
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