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NY Times Q2 earnings: “The Daily” info and strategies

An item in today’s Podnews nudged our attention to the New York Times Q2 earnings statement. As Podnews mentioned, the Times disclosed that its leading podcast effort The Daily (the top news podcast in the U.S., and one of the most successful podcasts across categories) serves 3.5-million downloads per daily episode.

That fact bite came from Meredith Kopit Levien, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, who said: “We’re somewhere above 3.5 million average daily listenership for The Daily, which is almost twice where we were a year ago.”

Let’s do some recreational arithmetic. To figure a CPM income from The Daily, we’ll divide 3.5-million by a thousand — it is 3,500. Taking a default CPM rate of $30 (but honestly, we don’t know what The Daily charges), we get $105,000 per day, assuming just one placement per episode. Over a year (262 business days) we get $27.5-million dollars per year.

The Daily plays a broader role in the Times’ business and strategy. “I think The Daily has been very, very powerful in a number of ways to the company,” Levien said. One of its functions is to lock people into the Times other realms of journalism. “We believe and we have some evidence that The Daily plays a real role in bringing people into our subscription funnel. One of the great things about it is, it’s essentially a single story every day. So often really people wanted more on that particular story or other stories and so then they come to The Times to get more.” Levien noted what every regular listeners has observed — a persistent promotion in the show for NY Times subscription. “Those ads are really, really powerful,” she observed.

Then there is the matter of using The Daily to promote other NY Times audio programming. “The Daily itself is a really important distribution mechanism for other audio journalism, meaning we use it as an envelope to send other new podcasts into the world and that’s been quite effective,” Levien noted.

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Brad Hill

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