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Dow Jones 2021 Highlights Include Subscriber and Revenue Growth

In a year-end news release, Dow Jones & Company, a global provider of news and business information, shared achievements from 2021, including first quarter results for fiscal year 2022. Among the organization’s top achievements were digital subscription gains, growth in advertising revenue, new products, acquisitions and partnerships.

Dow Jones, a division of News Corp, publishes the Wall Street Journal, the country’s largest newspaper by paid circulation; Factiva; Barron’s; MarketWatch; Mansion Global; Financial News; Dow Jones Risk & Compliance; Dow Jones Newswires; Dow Jones VentureSource.

“Dow Jones employees continue to deliver on our mission to provide the world’s most trusted source of journalism, data and analysis to help people make decisions,” said Almar Latour, chief executive officer of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, in a December 30, 2021 news release. “Despite the continuing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to our colleagues around the world, we have had one of the most successful years in our company’s history.”

First quarter fiscal year 2022 highlights

For the company’s first quarter of fiscal year 2022, for the period ended September 30, 2021, Dow Jones reported the following:

  • Dow Jones segment EBITDA was $95 million, a 32% increase year-over-year.
  • Total revenue was $444 million, a 15% increase year-over-year, was powered by digital revenue, which now represents 75% of the company’s total revenue, compared to 73% the prior year.
  • Circulation and subscription revenue increased $38 million, or 12%.
  • Total average subscriptions to Dow Jones’ consumer products reached about 4.6 million, an 18% increase year-over-year, including 128,000 IBD subscriptions, most of which are digital-only.
  • Dow Jones membership grew 18% year-over-year with digital-only subscriptions growing 24% year-over-year.
  • Total B2B revenue, which includes Risk & Compliance, Factiva and Dow Jones Newswires, was $128 million, an increase of $15 million, or 13% year-over-year.
  • Risk & Compliance revenue was up 26% year-over-year, representing double-digit revenue growth for the 25th quarter in a row.
  • Digital advertising grew 38% year-over-year; it was particularly strong in technology, finance and other B2C categories.

“Dow Jones achieved stronger profitability than any first quarter in its 140-year history,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson, in a November 4, 2021 earnings release.

Operational highlights

Operational highlights for 2021 include the following:

  • The Wall Street Journal celebrated the 25th anniversary of
  • The Wall Street Journal also launched a new brand platform, Trust Your Decisions, to be a definitive source of accurate information for decision makers.
  • The newspaper added a Speed & Trending desk to the newsroom for breaking stories and started a news literacy campaign.
  • Celebrating its centennial with the largest subscription base in its history, Barron’s launched the Future Focus Stock Index and Barron’s Advisor, a new premium product.
  • With a full year of a paywall under its belt, MarketWatch launched a commerce offering, MarketWatch Picks, and a new podcast, The Best New Ideas in Money.
  • Financial News launched an interactive cryptocurrency page to share real-time data and market updates with readers.
  • Dow Jones has expanded Factiva’s content library, adding over 800 sources from 90 countries and territories in 26 languages. The archive now boasts 1.9 billion articles from 32,000 sources from 200 countries in 29 languages.
  • Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Risk & Compliance has seen six consecutive years of revenue growth over 20%.

Acquisitions and partnerships

Among the company’s 2021 highlights are new acquisitions and partnerships. Perhaps the most notable was the company’s acquisition of Investor’s Business Daily from O’Neil Capital Management for $275 million. Based in Los Angeles, IBD will operate as a stand-alone brand under the Dow Jones umbrella. At the time of the acquisition, IBD had nearly 100,000 digital subscribers and, in February 2021, the company reached 10.8 million average monthly unique visitors.

“Today is an exciting day for News Corp, Dow Jones, IBD and most importantly, our collective readers and customers. Working together, we will share skills and strengths, as well as legacies of trusted journalism to create industry leading connections with the professional and retail investor communities. The completion of this acquisition marks another step in furthering our ambition to become the most impactful business and finance media and information company,” said Latour in a May 5, 2021 announcement.

Other pending acquisitions include OPIS and Base Chemicals. New or expanded partnerships include a multi-year deal with Google; an additional two-year deal with Twitter to include Barron’s, MarketWatch and IBC; and new partnerships with Morningstar, S&P Global Market Intelligence and Iress.

Insider Take

While the News Corp brand and Dow Jones, its subsidiary, have very different reputations, Dow Jones had a banner year in 2021 with much success to show for their efforts. Their IBD acquisition and pending acquisitions will add new products and services to the Dow Jones stable, while also adding new revenue opportunities and subscribers. The company’s second quarter of fiscal year 2022 just concluded, so we should hear results in a month or so. We anticipate Dow Jones to continue on its upward trajectory, setting a strong path for the company to follow for the remainder of its fiscal year.

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