NEW YORK — The Wall Street Journal, a division of News Corp., said it has surpassed over 2.2 million digital subscribers in May and has a total of nearly 3 million paid subscribers including the print newspaper.
As part of the company’s third quarter earnings report ending March 31, News Corp also noted that The Wall Street Journal’s digital paid subscribers were up 15% year-over-year to more than two million, another record. Digital subscribers accounted for 73% of the Journal subscriber base for the third quarter.
“The relative success of The Wall Street Journal shows the value to readers of trusted news analysis, of pithy, pertinent opinion writers, and of reporters who have the objective of being objective,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “The WSJ subscriber base and the MarketWatch audience are patently a platform for further growth, as the team has been able to upsell readers to Barron’s and to professional information products that are essential for business and higher yielding.”
The Company reported fiscal 2020 third quarter total revenues of $2.27 billion, 8% lower compared to $2.46 billion in the prior year period. The decline reflects a $78 million, or 3%, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. The rest of the decline primarily reflects lower print-related advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment and lower subscription revenues at Foxtel.
Net loss for the quarter was ($1) billion compared to net income of $23 million in the prior year, reflecting $1.1 billion of non-cash impairment charges, primarily related to a write-down of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets at Foxtel and the reclassification of News America Marketing to assets held for sale.
News Corp recently named Almar Latour as the new Chief Executive Officer of Dow Jones and Publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Latour, who is currently Publisher for Barron’s Group at Dow Jones, will assume the role with the departure of William Lewis on May 15.
In the third quarter, Dow Jones set a new record of nearly 3.6 million total subscriptions across The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Group, representing a 10% increase year-over-year, including a 20% increase in digital only growth.
In recent days, the Journal has reached approximately 3 million total subscribers for the first time, including 2.2 million digital only, which represents over 20% growth year-over-year.
According to internal metrics, unique visitors to The Wall Street Journal were up 74% year-over-year, while Barron’s saw a 163% jump in March alone. MarketWatch’s unique visitors also rose exponentially, tripling to 90 million in March compared to March, 2019.
While information and reporting on the virus helped drive high subscriber counts and traffic, advertising revenue overall was impacted in late March, though digital advertising across Dow Jones rose 25% year-over-year for the third quarter, and accounted for 47% of Dow Jones’ total ad revenues in the quarter. By comparison, The New York Times digital advertising revenues fell approximately 8% in the quarter.
Overall, Dow Jones revenues increased 5% in the third quarter, and above The New York Times at 1%. Dow Jones, including its growing Professional Information Business, remains significantly more digital than The New York Times, with digital representing 68% of revenues in the third quarter.
News Corp also highlighted the continued double-digit revenue growth of Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, which grew 18% over the third quarter, as organizations ramp up to manage regulatory and reputational risk on a global scale.
Risk & Compliance is on track to approach approximately $160 million in revenues this fiscal year. It is the main contributor to the growth of Dow Jones’s professional information business, which also includes Factiva and Dow Jones Newswires.