Few American media entities have benefited more from the rise of Trump than the staid old New York Times. Just compare the company’s September 2020 quarterly report (out yesterday) with its filing on the eve of the mad-tweeting huckster’s shock election win four years ago.
Earnings, revenue and ad income are all vital, but nothing measures the company’s amazing ride on the Trump train than its digital subscriber numbers, which has surged by more than 300% even as print sales have slid.
Back in its September 2016 filing, the Times reported that “paid digital-only subscriptions totaled approximately 1,557,000 … a net increase of 129,000 subscriptions compared to the end of the second quarter of 2016 and a 30% increase compared to the end of the third quarter of 2015”.
By contrast, yesterday the company announced it ended the third quarter of 2020 with “paid digital-only subscriptions totaled approximately 6,063,000”.
In the four years since Trump came to power, the company has expanded its digital offerings from just the paper and crosswords to audio (podcasts), cooking (rapidly growing), personal relationships and a wider range of puzzles. That, plus the antics of Donald Trump and his administration, have seemingly ushered in a new golden age.
Of course, who knows what might happen to those numbers under a President Biden.