The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Aug 07, 2019 • 11:00 am ET

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The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

[Operator Instructions] The first question comes from John Belton with Evercore. Please go ahead.

Mr. Belton your line is open on our end.

Analyst
John Thomas Belton

Thanks everyone. I just want to talk a little bit more about the digital advertising business, which I'm sure is going to be a focus of attention here given the new guidance. So I'm just looking for any additional color on some of the underlying trends. Is there any part of the business that has meaningfully weakened recently. Is this more of a broader market issue, just kind of a lumpy business with tougher growth comparisons? Because I know, if I look back over a five-year period you've grown digital ad revenues at double digits, on average. Is there any reason to think the trajectory of this business has changed now relative to where you saw it three months ago. Thanks a lot.

Executive
Meredith A. Kopit Levien

Good morning, John, this is Meredith. A couple of things to say there. First, I think broadly in answer to your question, I would say, demand for what The Times is selling in the ad business remains very strong. I think we've got a unique proposition, which is grounded in brand safety and adjacency to IP that matters. And it's important and an ability to sort of launch creative ideas in the world at scale. And I don't think -- we don't feel demand changing for that in anyway. And I don't expect that it will. I think what you're really looking at here is that the comps matter a lot, particularly in the back half of the year. So I think we were up in the low 30s percent in the fourth quarter last year in advertising. And as Mark alluded to in his remarks, we feel quite confident in our strategy of selling a combination of media and partnerships and the services, and each of those things drives the other. As the business get more -- becomes more about partnerships, there is just more variability in the system because the timing of these things differs from year-to-year.

But we remain very confident in the strategy, we remain optimistic that the demand that we've seen over the last number of years is very much there, and we remain confident and optimistic about our ability to deliver on that.

Analyst
John Thomas Belton

So over the longer term, you still view this as a nice growth driver for the company.

Executive
Meredith A. Kopit Levien

Yes. And as we've said in previous calls, I think it remains that and also that the better we do on subscriptions and engagement, the better that is for the ad business over the long haul.

Analyst
John Thomas Belton

Great. Makes sense. Thank you very much.

Operator
Operator

The next question comes from Alexia Quadrani with JPMorgan. Please go ahead.

Analyst
Alexia Skouras Quadrani

Hi, thank you so much. Just have a few questions. Earlier this year, I think you spoke about exploring possible price increase in your digital subscription service. I guess any update or any more thoughts on that? And then I have a couple more.