News Corp. announced Friday that Dow Jones & Co. set a new record of 3.5 million subscriptions and The Wall Street Journal crossed the 2 million digital subscriptions mark for the first time.
Dow Jones is publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Group, and its Professional Information Business includes Risk & Compliance, Newswires and Factiva.
“Dow Jones revenues increased by 4% in the most recent quarter, compared to 1% for The New York Times,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp., in a statement. “Dow Jones is significantly more digital than The New York Times, with 62% digital revenues as we reported at fiscal year-end, including our growing Professional Information Business.”
The total number of digital subscriptions at Dow Jones grew by 17% in the most recent quarter, with digital subscribers to The Wall Street Journal rising 13%. At Dow Jones, digital accounts for approximately 57% of consumer circulation revenues versus 44% for The New York Times.
“There is a strong and growing appetite for factual, fair and deeply reported journalism, and our latest subscription and financial results demonstrate how well Dow Jones, the Journal and our other publications and products are serving that vital public need,” said Thomson.
Dow Jones advertising revenues in the October-December quarter also outpaced The New York Times, with digital advertising picking up thus far in the first quarter of calendar year 2020.
In an earnings call with analysts Thursday evening, Thomson noted, “We are now seeing early benefits from our long battle for equitable treatment by the dominant tech platforms. In particular, our deals with Apple and Facebook are beginning to yield financial dividends for us, and we welcome their respect for the premium journalism produced by the talented professionals at News Corp.”
In addition to the record-setting subscriber performance of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal in the last quarter of calendar year 2019, Thomson also noted the strong results in Dow Jones’ Professional Information Business, which had an 8% increase in revenues, with 21% growth in its Risk & Compliance business, marking the twelfth consecutive quarter of growth above 20%.
News Corp. has said the Risk & Compliance business is on track to approach $160 million of revenues this fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2020.
Barron’s subscribers also hit record levels in the October-December quarter, at 615,000, up 8% over the previous year.