Friday, July 22, 2005

Online revenues catching up

Gavin O'Malley at MediaPost takes apart the New York Times' and Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal's latest quarterly financials and finds that online revenue growth far outpaces that of print. (29 percent Times and 39 percnet at newly acquired About.com, although overall company net income was down; WSJ online up 33.5 percent) No surprise there; when you're starting from a lower base, double-digit growth is easier to attain.

But what struck me was this at Dow Jones:
Print revenues were down 7.2 percent -- or $18.3 million for the quarter and nearly $40 million for the year--while operating income fell 58.2 percent. ... As a result of this second-quarter performance gap, online operations grew to represent almost half as much revenue as print -- up significantly from a year ago, when online represented just a fifth as much revenue as print.

And this came even as WSJ subscriptions were up 8 percent.

Dow Jones Chairman and CEO Peter Kann says business-to-business advertising has been lousy, and since that's the bread and butter of the WSJ, it shows on the bottom line. He expects things to get better on the print side in the current quarter.

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