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WSJ crosses 2 million digital subscribers: says there is “strong and growing appetite” for deeply reported journalism

Days after The New York Times reported record subscriptions, News Corp announced that The Wall Street Journal has crossed the 2 million digital subscriptions mark for the first time.

Dow Jones—publisher of The Wall Street Journal—has also set a new record of 3.5 million subscriptions, and surpassed The New York Times in revenue growth in the final quarter of calendar year 2019.

“Dow Jones revenues increased by 4% in the most recent quarter, compared to 1% for The New York Times,” said Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp.

The total number of digital subscriptions at The Wall Street Journal grew by 13% in the most recent quarter, with Dow Jones’ digital subscribers rising 17%.

There is a strong and growing appetite for factual, fair and deeply reported journalism, and our latest subscription and financial results demonstrate how well Dow Jones, the Journal and our other publications and products are serving that vital public need.

Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp

According to Dow Jones, their advertising revenues in the October-December quarter also outpaced The New York Times, with digital advertising picking up thus far in the first quarter of calendar year 2020.

“We are now seeing early benefits from our long battle for equitable treatment by the dominant tech platforms,” Thomson noted in an earnings call with analysts. “In particular, our deals with Apple and Facebook are beginning to yield financial dividends for us.”

News Corp also reported that The Wall Street Journal’s new podcast with Spotify, “The Journal,” has been downloaded 20 million times since its September launch.

While both the Journal and the Times are seeing encouraging growth in digital subscriptions, there is no recent information to indicate how the other major American publication—the Post—is doing. 

The Washington Post—owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos—is not publicly traded, and so not obliged to disclose its subscription numbers. Although data from earlier years does indicate a healthy growth in digital subscriptions.

The New York Times recently reported “an acceleration in digital growth.” Numbers are consistently trending north, publishers are increasingly mastering their craft on the digital front, and it does indeed point to this being “the new golden age of publishing”.

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