Print isn’t dead, not even close. But it may be terminally ill. That was the takeaway from Time Inc.’s Q3 financial report today.
The company, which had previously forecasted 1 percent to 5 percent of growth for 2016, has readjusted that forecast to flat to 1.5 percent. This, after it reported that it generated $4 million ($769 million) less in Q3 2016 revenue versus the same period ($773 million) last year. The company is, however, up by $6 million H1 2016 ($1.459 billion) versus H1 2015 ($1.453 billion).
When diving into the numbers, the outlook for print is not great. Print advertising, subscription and newsstand revenue are all down. Print advertising took the biggest hit, down 13 percent compared to Q3 of last year. Subscription revenue is down 7 percent, and newsstand down 10 percent. Cumulatively, those three balance lines account for $528 million in revenue; meaning print supports 69 percent of the company’s total revenue.
In this morning's investor call, Joe Ripp said, “Our organizational structure was holding us back,” and then implied he is optimistic about the new structure that aligns sales teams to categories instead of brands. He stated that the old structure impeded its ability to sell larger contracts to advertisers because they were buying in small, brand-specific buckets. He also stressed that despite the “short-term pain” associated with the restructuring, the company is now better positioned to deliver scale to advertisers across platforms and brands.
Digital advertising was a huge bright spot in today’s report. It grew 65 percent in Q3 versus last year. However, in the greater context, it still only accounted for $127 million of its $769 million in revenue. That’s definitely not pocket change, and the growth is an indication the company is moving in the right direction, but it still has a ways to go to catch up to print.
Originally published on Folio:'s sister site Min.