NYT Company Site RFP

Part
01
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Part
01

NYT Company - Investment Strategies

The New York Times Company shows a preference for investing in start-up companies that are operating in the digital space. These companies are generally those involved in the industries of online content publication, journalism, digital business tools, and data analytics. These companies tend to be quite small in size, having an employee count of less than 50, however sometimes they invest in companies that have more, although typically not more than 250 employees. They make both late stage and early-stage investments and occasionally reinvest in the same company. They generally invest locally, in and around New York City, but occasionally make investments elsewhere.

Also, NYT Company tends to make investments in companies that have been active for a couple of years. However, they have occasionally made investments in a company the same year that company was founded. Overtime, NYT Company has focused their investments more towards online publications and content platforms, which has changed from prior to 2015, when their investment activities were more focused in the realm of business tools and data analytics.

Information which directly states NYT Company's criteria for making investments was not found to be publicly available. Despite this, we were able to triangulate an understanding of what their investment preferences likely are by analyzing information contained within the company's annual reports, the company website, and by conducting a data analysis of the companies they have invested in since 2012.

methodology

In order to locate an answer to your question, we first attempted to look for any general information NYT Company has given regarding the nature of their investment strategies. We were able to locate some general insights in their annual reports. Next, we utilized the NYT Company's website and Crunchbase to locate any information regarding which companies they have invested in. We aimed to compile the most comprehensive list possible. For each of the companies identified as far back as 2012, we located information about each of the companies and compiled this information into a spreadsheet. We then analyzed this spreadsheet for trends, which we assume indicate a preference for investing in certain types of companies. We used this as a proxy to make an analytical assumption for what types of criteria NYT Company is likely looking for in their investment recipients. Below, you will find a deep dive of our findings.

collected data

In this spreadsheet, we collected data for each of the identified companies' size, industry, revenue, founding day and location. We also collected information on New York Time's investments in these companies, such as the stage of the investment, the size of the total funding round, the year of this investment. Crunchbase, Owler, and trusted media sites provided this information. However, revenues were not always available for all the companies as many of them are private companies, which often do not disclose their financial reports.

We also looked for financial benefits or other statements given by NYT Company regarding the purposes of these specific investments. However, this information was lacking. We first looked through trusted news resources and press releases for information pertaining to these investments. However, this search only revealed a very small number of insights, none of which were very relevant to this request. Based on this lack of information, it appears that the NYT Company does not often make public announcements regarding their all of their investments, as even the investments page on their website only features a handful of the investments they have made, many of which we identified as have been made prior to 2013, according to the information we collected in the spreadsheet.

However, in order to conduct comprehensive research in seeking information pertaining to financial benefits and reasons for investment decisions, we also analyzed NYT Company's annual reports from 2016-2012. The 2017 report has not yet been published. Additionally, we did not locate any information showing that NYT Company invested in any companies during 2017.

In each of these annual reports, we searched for any information pertaining to their investments and the companies they invested in during those years. Below, we will discuss our findings from these annual reports, as well as provide an analysis of data contained within the spreadsheet.

nyt company's investment strategy

The company's 2016 annual report states that their investments in general, are made with the intention of supporting their growth and that they aim to protect the investments they have made in "original newsgathering and storytelling", which they believe is what makes their publication "indispensable."

This statement is interesting to consider, given that many of the companies they have invested in operate within the storytelling, journalism, publishing, and content creation industries. This is especially true for the companies NYT Company has most recently invested in. We assume this shows a strong preference for investing in companies which provide services which are of value to NYT Company's business. We did locate some evidence suggesting that NYT Company may have some interest in collaborating with their investment partners. Their 2016 annual report further states that they are working to further their "strategy of producing the world’s finest journalism along with innovative products and services to bring that journalism to the world." We feel this could serve as a motivation for collaborating with their investment recipients, as nearly all the companies they have invested in appear to be innovative, startups which are operating in the digital space.

NTY Company expresses that it faces overwhelming challenges in building and maintaining the advanced and innovative technologies and digital infrastructure required to keep them competitive in a rapidly changing, technologically advancing market. This is further interesting to note, as NYC Company has made investments in a number of digital platforms including those operating in the areas of business intelligence, digital marketing, and analytics.

NTY Company appears also to be investing in companies which could be of interest to them in terms of acquisition in the future. Their most recent annual report states that they acquired HelloSociety, Fake Love, The Wirecutter and The Sweethome in 2016. The report further states:

"In order to position our business to take advantage of growth opportunities, we engage in discussions, evaluate opportunities and enter into agreements for possible acquisitions, divestitures, investments and other transactions. We may also consider the acquisition of, or investment in, specific properties, businesses or technologies that fall outside our traditional lines of business and diversify our portfolio, including those that may operate in new and
developing industries, if we deem such properties sufficiently attractive."

After searching exhaustively through each of NYT Company's annual reports, we did not locate any direct mention regarding the individual companies they have invested in. The information they provide regarding their investment strategies is regarding their more general investment strategy.

investment data analysis

Looking at the spreadsheet, you will see that we have compiled data for NYC Company's investments as far back as 2012. We have also included the names of companies they have invested in prior to 2012, simply to serve as a reference. However, we have not conducted a deep dive of these companies. The years these older investments were made have been provided if the information was readily available.

In some cases, we were not able to locate the years of these investments, as several of these investments appear on NYT Company's website, but do not appear in Crunchbase. NYT Company's website does not provide specifics regarding these investments.

Below, you will find our analysis of the data contained in the spreadsheet. You can access the spreadsheet here.

Looking at the data that is available, it appears that NYT Company shows a preference for investing in companies which have less than 50 employees. However, in some cases they have invested in companies which have a larger number of employees, typically less than 250. Information regarding the size of these companies was located using Crunchbase.

In terms of revenue, NYT Times appears to show a preference for investing in companies that have revenues in the low millions, and sometimes less than one million. They do not appear to be investing in any large enterprises, based on the data that was publicly available. Information pertaining to revenue was located using Owler.

As far as geographical location, NYT Company typically invests in companies that are located in and around New York City, which might indicate a preference for investing locally. However, in some cases, they have made in investments in California, as well as one company located in Washington D.C. There is only one instance of NYT Company investing in a foreign company, Blendle, located in the Netherlands. Company headquarters were located via Crunchbase.

There does not appear to be any consistent trend regarding the age of the companies when NYT Company makes the initial investment, aside from the fact that they are clearly investing in startups. In a few cases, NYT Company has invested in a company the year it was founded, while in other cases they have invested several years after the company was founded. Most of the companies NYT Company has invested in were founded in the years surrounding 2010. They have only invested in one company that has been founded within the past three years, called Scroll. Crunchbase provided the years of the initial investments, as well as the years the companies were founded.

NYT Company typically makes investments in the earlier funding rounds, Seed and Series A investments. However, they have made a handful of later stage investments, including in some cases where they had also made an investment at an earlier stage. Crunchbase was used to locate the investment stages.

NYT Company made a significant portion of these investments between 2014 and 2016. Investments made during 2012 and 2013 were very minimal. We found no investments made during 2017, however it is possible these investments have not yet been publicly recorded.

changes over time

Based on the information contained within their annual report and the analysis of the data collected in the spreadsheet, it appears that NYT Company is highly focused on innovation and keeping up with changing technology during recent years. Their website states: "The New York Times Company selectively invests in digital media startups to support our innovation efforts."

Their investment activities remain fairly consistent between 2014 and 2016. One significant change that sticks out is that NYT Company was investing more in digital business tools and data analytics platforms during the earlier years between 2012 and 2014. Around 2015, they began to invest more in digital content creation platforms and digital publications.

Another item of note is that their most recent investments have been in companies that are quite small. Previously they were investing in a greater range of different sized companies. However, this could merely be an illusion in the data which might instead just be reflecting the companies' growth overtime.

conclusion

While information which directly states NYT Company's criteria for making investments was not found to be publicly available, we were able to triangulate an understanding of what their investment preferences likely are by analyzing information contained within the company's annual reports, company website, and by conducting a data analysis of the companies they have invested in since 2012.



Part
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Part
02

NYT Company - B2B Services

The New York Times Company (NYT Company) offers a wide array of B2B services. While their offerings include the world-renowned newspaper, The New York Times, the NYT Company has expanded heavily to include other sources of business and revenue, including digital subscriptions, advertising, conference platforms, digital archives, and research and development. Below you will find a breakdown of the different services offered by The New York Times Company, how they relate to the operations of the business, and an analysis of how the services provided have affected the company between 2013 and today.

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS

The NYT Company has offered their newspaper in print since 1851. The company launched their website, the NYTimes.com in 1996, and officially began charging customers for their exclusive digital news since 2011. The NYT also launched the international version of their newspaper in 2013, which is currently available in 195 countries worldwide. Digital subscriptions are available for individuals, businesses, educational groups, and more. By the beginning of 2017, the NYT Company reached over 3 million subscribers to their circulars, including both print and digital versions.

The articles in weekday and Sunday circulars are also sold and distributed to over 2,000 other newspapers, magazines, websites and more in over 100 countries for revenue. Over 3,000 businesses subscribe to the New York Times newspaper, reaching over 3 million students, teachers, and educational groups in over 50 countries.

Advertising

The NYT Company breaks down their advertising revenues into three parts: display (digital), classified, and other. The company also owns three other separate businesses that are used for advertising and bringing in revenue. Below is a breakdown of the three incomes types from advertising, in addition to the three businesses.

DISPLAY ADVERTISING
Display advertising revolves around promoting products, services and brands through digital means, either through the digital newspaper or throughout other areas within the NYT Company. They promote other businesses such as department stores, fashion, and technology. This form of advertising made up 89% of the total advertising revenue from the NYT Company in 2016.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING
Classified advertising is paid for by businesses on a per-listing or bundled listing basis. This advertising appears both in the printed circulars and online (both desktop and mobile sites). As of 2016, classified advertising made up 5% of the total advertising revenue from the NYC Company.

OTHER ADVERTISING
This includes creative advertising and related services. Free-standing inserts in the printed circulars, branded bags for newspapers, and other such forms of advertising are included in this category. In 2016, other advertising made up 6% of the total advertising revenue.

T BRAND STUDIO
The NYT Company formed the T Brand Studio in 2014 as a marketing method specifically for The New York Times. The sub-unit company produces unique marketing for the NYT Company on a global scale, and has grown to help brand and advertise for over 150 programs and 100 brands to date. In a comparison between other third party advertisers and the T Brand Studio, the company was found to produce 361% more unique visitors than other advertisers, and such visitors spent 526% more time with posts formed through T Brand Studio than other advertising companies.

HELLOSOCIETY & FAKE LOVE
HelloSociety and Fake Love were acquired by the NYT Company in March and August 2016, respectively. These are social media marketing and digital marketing agencies that have brought in a total of $15.4 million since they were acquired.

NYTLive

NYTLive is a sponsor a supporter of conferences relating to education, sustainability, businesses, and more. Considered to be a platform for live journalism, the conferences sponsored by the NYT Company bring together industry leaders through panels, discussions, interactive debates, and networking events. The events that they sponsor regularly are as follows:

3. DealBook

Of these events, the New Work Summit will be held between February 12-13, 2018 and the Athens Democracy Forum will be held between September 15-18, 2018.

The Wirecutter & The Sweethome

Both The Wirecutter and The Sweethome were acquired in October 2016 for a total of $25 million. These are subsidiaries of the NYT Company that provide guides for tech gear, home products, and consumer goods.

Joint Venture Investments

The NYT Company currently has equity in three different paper-related and conference companies. Prior to 2013, the NYT Company has had 49% interest in Donahue Malbaie Inc., a Canadian newsprint company, and 30% interest in Women in the World, LLC, a live-event conference business. They have also had 40% interest in Madison Paper Industries however, as of 2016, the company was sold so the shares are in the process of being liquidated.

NYT Research & Development

The NYT Company owns a research and development company that works to identify and expand technology trends that are expected to grow over the next 3-5 years. The NYT Company assists other companies by providing funding to develop prototypes of their technology, as well as showcasing the impact that these technologies will create. The company helps other companies to develop prototypes of their technology through funding, as well as show the impacts that such technologies will create. These developments are shared in The New York Times newspaper.

Digital Archive Distribution

The NYT Company offers licensing of their digital articles and archived databases to resellers of information for businesses, professionals, and library markets. Although information regarding this portion of the company's business is not public information, it is an area from which they draw revenue.

Revenue and Statistics: 2013 to 2017

2013 ANNUAL STATISTICS
In 2013, the total digital subscribers to the NYT Newspaper and related content was at 760,000, which was a 19% increase from 2012. At the same time, the average weekday print circulation in 2013 had 1,926,800 subscribers, and the Sunday circular had an average of 2,409,000 subscribers per week. The weekday International NYT paper had an average of 224,616 subscribers at the time. The NYTimes.com website saw 30 million unique visitors in the U.S. in 2013, and a total of 45 million unique visitors worldwide.

At the end of 2013, the NYT Company brought in a total of $824,277,000 in revenue from circulation (print, web, and mobile; U.S. and international), $86,266,000 from other sources, and $666,687,000 from advertising as a whole. Advertising was broken up into the following three categories in 2013 for annual reports: national, retail, and classified. $522,085,000 of this came from national advertising, $82,614,000 came from retail advertising, and the remaining $4,919,000 was from other advertising sources. The NYT Company held 49% equity in Donohue Malbaie Inc. and 40% equity in Madison Paper Industries, from which they were also drawing revenue.

2016 ANNUAL STATISTICS
By 2016, the total subscribers to the NYT Newspaper had grown to 2.9 million across 195 countries. Digital subscriptions totaled 1,853,000, a 47% increase from 2015 and a 243.82% increase from 2013. This included subscriptions to the digital crosswords, which accounted for 245,000 of the total digital subscriptions. The average weekly print circulation had 571,500 subscribers in 2016, a decrease of 29.67% from 2013. The average Sunday print subscribers totaled 1,085,700 in 2016, a 45.07% decrease from 2013. The International NYT paper had a total of 215,000 subscribers, a decrease of 4.3% from 2013. The NYTimes.com site had 85 million unique visitors from the U.S. and 122 million unique visitors worldwide, correlating to a 283.33% and 271.11% increase, respectively, since 2013.

By the end of 2016, the NYT Company brought in a total of $880,543,000 in revenue from circulation (print, web, and mobile; U.S. and international), $94,067,000 from other sources, and $580,732,000 from advertising as a whole. Advertising was broken up into the following three categories in 2016 for annual reports: digital, classified, and other. Digital advertising made up 89% of the total advertising revenue in 2016, amount to a total of $517,197,000. $29,902,000 came from classified advertising, and the remaining $36,633,000 was from other advertising sources. The NYT Company still 49% equity in Donohue Malbaie Inc. and 40% equity in Madison Paper Industries, but was in the process of liquidating their shares in Madison since the company was sold. As a replacement, the NYT Company took up 30% equity in Women in the World, LLC.


2017 ANNUAL STATISTICS
By November 2017, the digital advertising revenue of the NYT Company grew by 11%, or $49 million from 2016. The company saw an additional 105,000 digital subscriptions, increasing digital subscription revenue to $86 million for the year. With around $500 million in total digital revenue, the NYT Company is on track to reach their goal of $800 million in digital revenue by 2020. The large increase in digital subscriptions and advertising has led to a $70 million decrease in print revenue from 2016, a $22 million deficit from digital revenue. Print advertising followed the same trend, falling 20% from 2016, leading to a 9% total decrease in advertising revenue as a whole. Total subscription revenue, including print and digital, rose by 14% from 2016 to $247 million by November 2017. The NYC Company also saw their revenue from The Wirecutter rise by 18% in revenue since 2016.

Conclusion

The New York Times newspaper is only a piece of the businesses offered by the NYT Company. Based on the major growth of the digital subscriptions and services chosen by customers of the NYT Company, it can be concluded that the company is starting to become more successful through digital platforms, rather than in print. This includes the use of digital advertising and the growing array of advertising businesses that the company has acquired over the years. The expansion of the NYT Company into live conferences and journalism, recommendation businesses and even research and development show that the company is much more than just a newspaper.
Part
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Part
03

NYT Company RFP - Arthur Gregg Sulzberger

Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, known as A.G, is the newly-instated publisher of the New York Times (NYT) Company and is known as an innovative leader with strong expertise in digital transformation. We have used recent media articles and interviews to provide a detailed account of the lead up to his appointment as publisher, the perception of A.G. within the NYT, his mission, implemented and planned changes and future challenges. A deep dive into our findings is provided below.

Findings

Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, known more commonly as A.G., was voted as his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr's successor by the New York Times Co. board in December 2017 and took over as New York Times (NYT) publisher on January 1, 2018. He was chosen ahead of his two cousins for the highly-sought after position and was reportedly successful due to his experience and the internal studies he conducted at the NYT regarding innovation and digital transformation. A.G. becomes the fifth generation of the Ochs-Sulzberger family to lead the company, which has held this position since the 1890s.

A.G. was instated as deputy publisher for the NYT in October 2016 in preparation for the position and previously held other roles within the company as a journalist and national correspondent based in Kansas City. Since his appointment, A.G. has spent time learning about other parts of the NYT company including marketing, advertising, human resources and technology.

Perception

According to the director of the NYT Co. board, Robert E. Denham, A.G. demonstrates superb leadership skills, challenges others, asks smart questions, makes things happen and exercises excellent judgment. His leadership style is not described as vocal or confronting, according to NYT executive editor, Dean Baque, and is more thoughtful yet still forceful.

Mission

A.G. himself states that he is dedicated to the journalistic mission of the NYT and is an "unapologetic champion for this institution". He is known as an innovator, for having strong views and a will to push the company forward. A.G. states that he aims to ensure continuing journalistic excellence and success throughout the time of transformation that lies ahead for the news industry. He believes the most prominent question driving his decision-making and leadership is in relation to finding the best way to uphold journalistic traditions while continuing to meet the evolving needs of readers and taking on powerful new ways to identify, find and tell stories.

A.G. is also acutely aware of the profound responsibility he now holds and makes reference in a recent interview to the last words of his ancestor, Adolph Ochs, when he expressed a desire for the integrity and editorial independence of the paper to be upheld. A.G. also mentions the importance of thinking about the future of the institution and its responsibility to the public. This also entails being fearless and free of influence as a measure of devotion to public welfare.

In response to his tremendous responsibility, A.G. makes it clear that he will be working closely with experienced hands such as Dean Baquet, Mark Thompson, Meredith Levien and James Bennet, amongst others. Furthermore, A.G. states that he is committed to continued growth and learning, which is key to staying in touch with our ever-changing world.

Changes

Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. mentioned in a statement that A.G. embodies the mission and values of the NYT. He believes he has proven to be a positive advocate for change and is deeply dedicated to assisting the company with moving forward and maintaining the speed with which transformations within the industry are occurring.

The changes referred to, center particularly around the company's progression within the digital world. In 2014, A.G. was the principal author of an internal study, The NYT Innovation Report, which focused on the weaknesses of the NYT which highlighted the need to move away from print and embrace the paper's digital audience. This study informed the company's subscription strategy moving forward, with less of a focus on advertising. The report has also been noted as a template for the industry as a whole.

Furthermore, a more recent study was conducted, under A.G.'s watch, titled the 2020 Report. The results indicated a more positive view of the paper and its efforts to change, as well as prescribing future goals relating to reader engagement, visual journalism, diversity and newsroom training. Additionally, the report aims to double the digital revenue raised by 2020.

With regard to diversity, A.G. states that while the hiring of females and people of color has increased in recent times at the NYT, he believes the company can do better. This includes diversifying the paper's columnists and expanded coverage of race and gender issues to improve the company's journalism and strengthen the overall business.

This being said, A.G. states that he does not intend to make notable changes early in his tenure. Furthermore, a promise was made of no news budget cuts for the next two years.

Challenges Ahead

While A.G. has been the driving force for setting goals for the NYT in the future, the company's major challenge with remain with its digital subscription base. Currently, readers are able to access a number of free articles, with further published material available to paying subscribers. With the drop in print customers and the added expense of production and delivery, digital subscribers will be the most influential factor in the paper's success going forward. While A.G. has marked a goal to double digital revenue, the strategies in which he will do so will be most interesting to watch in the coming months and years. This being said, A.G. made it clear in a recent interview that the NYT print version will continue to be distributed for the foreseeable future, service approximately one million readers, and will be boosted by additional material such as the NYT for Kids and Puzzle Mania!

Furthermore, A.G. is faced with the battle of the "fake news" concept, pushed by the agenda of politicians and technology platforms. In response to the issue, A.G. states that the NYT will stay true to their mission by reporting the unbiased truth and stories that matter to the public. Additionally, he says that greater transparency is important to foster trust and credibility in the paper's operations and reporting. This includes showing readers the thoroughness, thoughtfulness, rigor and expertise that goes into each and every story the NYT publishes.

An additional challenge discussed by A.G. is improving nationwide coverage, that seems to currently be lacking. He states that while cities like Washington, New York and California are the base for a majority of journalists, the NYT now has national reporting staff in every part of the US who cross over to neighboring regions and states in order to report on stories that are yet to be told. Furthermore, the NYT is partnering with local news organizations, such as The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, to improve coverage. But A.G. states that there is more work to do in this area in the future.

Conclusion

Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, current publisher of the New York Times, will use his passion for innovation and digital transformation to lead the paper into the future and to stay relevant to its audience and true to the company's integrity.
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