NYT Digital Subs Rise 13% In Fourth Quarter

Digital subscribers to The New York Times reached almost 640,000 in the fourth quarter, up 13% from the end of the previous quarter, while digital subscribers at its corporate cousin The Boston Globe rose 8%, bringing the companywide total to about 668,000. Overall, the company reported an increase in profit for the quarter driven by gains from asset sales.

The New York Times Co. today reported increases in digital subscribers at company flagship The New York Times and corporate cousin The Boston Globe.

Paid digital subscribers to the Times and the International Herald Tribune — including subscribers to e-reader and replica editions — neared 640,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012, up about 13% from the end of the third quarter of 2012, the company said in its fourth-quarter report. Digital subscribers to BostonGlobe.com and the Globe’s e-reader and replica editions totaled approximately 28,000 as of the end of the quarter, up nearly 8% since the end of the third quarter of 2012. The Globe launched its pay site in September 2011.

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Circulation revenue for the year grew, spurred on primarily by growth in digital subscriptions and an increase in print prices in the first half of 2012, helping offset a decline in the number of print newspapers sold.

Digital ad revenue during the fourth quarter rose 5.1% to $69 million, making up 24.7% of the company’s total advertising revenue. For the year, digital ad revenue was flat at $214.8 million, compared with $214.5 million in 2011.

Overall, the company reported an increase in fourth-quarter profit driven primarily by gains from the sales of the About Group and its stake in Indeed.com, which added about $261 million to its bottom line.

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