News Corp Sees Strong UK Ad Gains, But Persists With Paid

As News Corp (NYSE: NWS) prepares to tip its online business model from advertising toward reader payments, its financials are trending the other direction…

In the last year, News International’s Jan-Feb-Mar Q3 advertising income in the UK has grown by a tenth – while its earnings from people buying its news (circulation revenue) has dipped four percent. Likewise, The Wall Street Journal added 25 percent more ad money, as well as typically higher circulation income.

In fact, the return of advertising, after a poor 2009, helped News Corp.’s newspaper and information income up strongly, from just $29 million in last year’s quarter to $131 million this time, although this will also have been helped by cost cuts.

In the ad market, we’re seeing strong advertising growth, particularly in the U.S. and Britain,” Rupert Murdoch told analysts and press in a conference call. “We’re seeing pretty optimistic and expanded advertisements from the big advertisers.”

“We’ve had many weeks when the London Sun has had all-time record revenues. I’ve got to tell you, I’m surprised. The Sun’s been the leader but across the four papers, we’re up.”

So, online, is there still same urgency – felt last year – for papers The Times and The Sun to reduce reliance on advertising by seeking reader payments… ?

Not at all. And not just because Murdoch’s news sites will retain, rather than abandon, advertising – News Corp is also planning a group-wide “innovative subscription model” – read on here for more details