‘It’s less dire than it seemed to be’: How The Wall Street Journal’s digital ads business has weathered the downturn

Digiday 20 Aug 2020 04:01
August 20, 2020 by Lucinda Southern

The tumultuous tides in media are still turning, and not all publishers are affected equally. A tense advertising landscape in fourth quarter 2019 for Dow Jones — which includes The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s — saw its digital advertising revenue tumble by 7%. But over the year, that levels out to annual digital ad revenue growth of 4%, according to its full-year earnings report.

Print revenues are a bleaker picture, contributing to The Wall Street Journal reporting that digital ad revenues have overtaken print for the first time. During the last quarter, The New York Times reported the same milestone.

On the plus side, WSJ’s digital subscriptions have grown by 23% and its branded content revenue has grown as well during the coronavirus crisis, according to chief revenue officer Josh Stinchcomb, although he wouldn’t say by how much. That’s thanks to the title’s established prominence with business-focused advertisers. And at its Digital Ad Upfronts in June, the publisher announced Trust Direct, an ad product that allows clients like Deloitte to self-publish content quickly, the title’s answer to the problems marketers have in responding to a rapidly-moving market.  

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WSJJosh StinchcombTrust DirectStinchcomb
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