Trump Bump Grows Into Subscription Surge — and Not Just for the New York Times
Newspapers, magazines, digital-only publishers and public radio companies all have reported big increases in reader support since the election.
Publishers are witnessing a baby digital subscription boom, and its parents are that odd couple of our times, Donald J. Trump and John W. Oliver. Their offspring pop not just from the womb of the New York Times (NYT) building at Eighth Avenue and West 40th Street in Manhattan but now from hyperkinetic newsrooms from coast to coast.
Trump, of course, has become the greatest source of lead generation the American press has ever seen, his campaign and then election inspiring hundreds of thousands of Americans to rush to buy digital news subscriptions and memberships. Oliver provided some seed, name-checking The New York Times, The Washington Post and ProPublica in a legendary journalism-affirming appeal in August, which so far has generated 7.4 million views on YouTube.
A month ago, the big number that generated the big headlines was that of the Times, as it passed the 3 million subscription threshold. It is now the numbers generated by dozens of media companies that certify the Trump bump as a major trend in the news publishing business.
In the magazine world, January was the biggest subscription month ever for Conde Nast‘s The New Yorker. Between the Nov. 8 election day and the end of January, the 92-year-old title sold 250,000 subscriptions. That’s up 230% compared with the same three-month period a year ago. January alone produced 100,000 subscriptions, a 300% increase over January 2016. The magazine now has its largest circulation ever, at more than a million.