Just days after announcing it had reached its one-millionth digital subscriber, the New York Times (NYT) said Wednesday that it has plans to double digital-only revenue to $800 million in five years.
In a memo titled, “Our Path Forward,” the newspaper laid out its challenge to financially grow upon the recent milestone. “We need to move with much more urgency,” the memo said. “For all that we’ve accomplished, our digital business is not yet close to supporting the scale of ambitions.”
It added, “This is why we are setting the goal of doubling our digital revenues over the next five years, to reach more than $800 million in digital-only revenue by 2020. To get there, we must more than double the number of engaged digital readers who are the foundation of both our consumer and advertising revenue models.”
The document continues that the newspaper will need to increase the growth of its digital revenue and subscribers rapidly to achieve those goals and ensure that digital revenue overtakes print revenue.
“The work ahead of us is more important than simply securing the future of The Times,” it concludes. “Our goal – indeed, our responsibility – is to prove there is a business model for the kind of ambitious, original, high-quality journalism that is essential for an informed society.”
The memo, which was signed by executive editor Dean Baquet, along with the rest of the executive staff, comes over a year after the newspaper released a report on innovation. Buzzfeed’s CEO was vocal about the report at the time, as Fortune reported.
Last May, Dean Baquet took the reins as top editor from Jill Abramson.