The Future of Print

New York Times: Our Digital Ads “Could Be Under Great Stress”

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on December 17, 2008

Summary:

Digital head Martin Nisenholtz said revenue at his unit had been OK until the last two months of the year, but that there had been “softness in November, accelerating into December…next year is going to be a different year, by a fairly profound margin.”

Bear in mind that the Times’s digital performance pre-November was grim to begin with–digital revenue grew just 4.3 percent in October–and it becomes possible to imagine that digital revenue will decrease for at least part of 2009.

Nisenholtz didn’t do anything rash like attach any numbers to his comments, but he did add a little bit of color: His About.com unit, which is boosted by cost-per-click/search ads, is still doing OK-ish. But the business of selling display ads to Times Web sites is getting pummeled, and could be “under great stress” next year, he says.

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