News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson made the following comments during the company’s earnings conference call about subscriptions at The Wall Street Journal:
Look, in terms of the subscribers are, obviously, we have had strong growth in U.S. subscriptions. And I think the thing to remember about Wall Street Journal subscriptions, once you have a subscriber, you also have an opportunity to upsell.
And so we’re particularly seeing growth, for example, in subscriptions coming from MarketWatch to The Journal and from MarketWatch to Barron’s and as well as that from The Journal to Barron’s. And then for the more specialist, Wall Street Journal subscribers, there’s an opportunity to sell them, to upsell them to our premium business products, which obviously have a higher yield. In terms of advertising, clearly, traffic has been particularly strong. There had been, as you may well be aware, some concerns early in the COVID crisis about blocking of ads related to COVID crisis coverage.
Gradually, that problem has diminished. And so we are noticing that the amount of advertising we’re getting is matching, not quite, but to some extent, the significant increases in traffic we’ve had across the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch. We noticed that tech advertising has increased. Custom advertising is also on the rise.
And to a certain extent, programmatic. But I think for our business, quite frankly, it’s an extraordinary opportunity because big clients are coming straight to the Wall Street Journal. And to our other publishing houses around the world. And they want to deal directly with us rather than necessarily through an advertising agency.
And while this is at the moment, a short term phenomenon, there are indications that this may very well become a long-term trend.
To read the full transcript, go here.