Growth5 Blog

Friday, October 21, 2011

NY Times Paywall Helps It Turn Profit

This article explains how the NY Times turned a profit in the 3rd quarter with 324,000 paid digital subscribers.

The profit for the quarter was $15.7 million compared to a loss of $4.3 million for the year-ago quarter.

"The Times Co. highlighted growth in its paid digital products as “a new revenue stream that has helped offset a decline in advertising revenue.” The newspaper launched a paywall on its website in March. It goes into effect after you access more than 20 articles in a month. After that, you can choose from $15 for four weeks of access to NYTimes.com and a mobile app, $20 for four weeks of access to the website and iPad app or $35 for all of the above."

Because of the tiered structure it's impossible to tell how much the NY Times is making on paid digital subscribers. The range is from $4.86 million to $11.34 million. With circulation revenue at $237 million and ad revenue at $262 million whatever the contribution from the paywall, it's a drop in the bucket. But what's important to point out here is that the NY Times has found a balance between a free 20 articles and getting people to pay for use.

The world wants the Internet to be free, but this shows that there can be an expectation of having to pay for something you use a lot (or 21 articles worth anyway).

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Apple & China

Mashable recently put up this story about how Apple's cash (and short-term investments) has grown to $81.5 billion.

According to the article China accounted for 2% of Apple's sales in fiscal 2009, but that number has jumped to 12% this year.

"I've never seen a country with as many people rising into the middle class that aspire to buy products that Apple makes," says Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the Plex

I just got done reading (listening to) In the Plex by Steven Levy.

Google has become such a part of our every day lives, that we take its existence for granted. It's hard to believe that it was all the way back in 1996 that two Stanford University friends, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, began working on a better search engine using advanced algorithms.

The book tells the story of this remarkable company in all its detail.

In one chapter, Levy describes the culture of the company, originally summarized with the phrase "Don’t Be Evil." However, Google’s continuous push for technological innovation sometimes found mass resistance as the company launched such ambitious projects as putting the world’s books on Google and the Google Maps street view option.

Other chapters in In the Plex detail the financial triumph of Google’s ads; the road to the IPO; and the troubles of Google in China, where it took on a local competitor and the government.

Google continues to innovate. Next up, social media and Google+. Will be interesting to see how they do.

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