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November 11, 2005

TimesSelect: Doing the Math

: Short of explicit numbers from the New York Times Company, any estimate of what TimesSelect is bringing in has to be more of a guess-timate. We don't know what the ad take is so let's leave that aside and focus on subscription. The company says it has surpassed 270,000 with approximately half of those as print add-ons and the other half as online-only. With that in mind, I'll go with a baseline of 135,000 paying subs. Roughly 15,000 of those were imported from News Tracker so let's set them aside. More than 20,000 signed up at the $39.95 pre-launch rate. Again, let's go for a baseline of 20,000. That comes out to $799,000.
Now for the remaining 100,000. When I asked, the Times said the breakdown is roughly 80 percent annual, 20 percent monthly. At $49.95, the 80 percent or 80,000 comes out to $3,996,000. At $7.95 a month, the remaining twenty percent or 20,000 would be $159,000 monthly or $1,908,000 annualized, which is probably the least useful number here.
That would make the subscription revenue as of Nov. 9 at least $4,954,000. Put another way, every 10,000 subscribers at the full annual rate are worth $499,500; every 10,000 monthly subs bring in $79,500 or $954,000 annualized.
That's revenue, not profit, of course. TimesSelect has expenses -- both start-up and routine -- so its actual contribution to the bottomline for now is another questionmark.
Related: TimesSelect Passes 270,000 Subscribers In 52 Days; Half Are Online-Only Subs
-- Interview: Martin Nisenholtz, SVP-Digital Operations, NYTCO; Scott Heekin-Canedy, President & GM, The New York Times

Posted by dymaxion at November 11, 2005 05:39 PM



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