The New York Times continues to outperform expectations despite a constant barrage of attacks from President Donald Trump’s administration. The newspaper surpassed 2 million digital news subscriptions in the second quarter of 2017, reaching a record number of 3.3 million subscribers in total and doubling its digital base over two years, the company announced Thursday.
“We had another strong quarter in which we grew revenue and profitability and made significant changes within the organization to ensure that the acceleration of our digital business continues in the long term,” said president and CEO Mark Thompson in a statement. “We believe that more and more people are prepared to pay for high quality in-depth journalism that helps them make sense of the world.”
Total revenue at the Times grew 9 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the second quarter of 2016, driven primarily by digital growth. The company added 93,000 net digital-only news subscriptions, a 69 percent increase from the same period last year. Total advertising revenue also grew by 22.5 percent ― the first time since the third quarter of 2014. Second-quarter print advertising revenue, meanwhile, decreased by 10.5 percent.
Though Trump and members of his Cabinet have made a habit out of attacking the “failing New York Times,” the paper has been on a winning streak since last year.
The final quarter of 2016 was the most successful for net new digital news subscriptions of any moment since 2011 ― but that achievement was surpassed in the first quarter of 2017, when the paper added the most net digital news subscriptions of any quarter in its history. Digital advertising revenue rose 19 percent and circulation revenue rose 11 percent in the first quarter of this year.
“We are now in rapid transition from a celebrated past as a great American newspaper to a future of even greater potential as a subscription-first, mobile-first news provider for thoughtful audiences everywhere,” Thompson said in May.
Total subscription revenue increased 13.9 percent in the second quarter of 2017, and it’s expected to grow at a similar rate in the third quarter, the Times’ statement said.
In addition to his attacks on the Times, Trump and his team have targeted the media in general for any coverage that paints the administration in a negative light.
The president recently went as far as disparaging the appearance of “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski for “speaking badly” of him. Days later, he tweeted a doctored video of himself wrestling CNN to the ground.
“It is a sad day when the President of the United State encourages violence against reporters,” a CNN spokesperson said in response.