Net income at the New York Times company for the first quarter of 2011 was 57 percent lower than the first quarter of 2010, the company reported today.
That’s due to a four and a half percent decline in ad revenue and 3.7 percent decline in circulation.
The company’s digital revenues now make up 16.9 percent of total revenue, which is up from 15.4 percent in 2010.
The paywall didn’t go up globally until the second quarter, so it’s too early to see whether it’s affecting the bottom line, but CEO Janet Robinson said in the earnings release that “we are pleased with the number of subscribers we have acquired to date, as initial volume has meaningfully exceeded our expectations.” Later on, the company says it’s signed up 100,000 paid digital subscribers.
Taking that in its most conservative formmeaning 100,000 people have tried the $1-for-a-month trial offer, that’s petty cash. At the cheapest option ($15 for four weeks), well, that’s still not very much money for a company that brings in more than $500 million a quarter. But it’s getting closer.