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The New York Times says the reach of its podcast grew 30% during the first three months of the year compared to a year ago as the company benefited from the addition of Serial Productions and This American Life to its portfolio, and the launch of new podcasts such as the Kara Swisher-hosted Sway and The Ezra Klein Show. The Times does not release podcast revenue, but it reported overall digital advertising increased 16.3% during the first quarter compared to a year earlier to $59.5 million with podcasting cited as one of the reasons for the growth. CEO Meredith Kopit Levien said there has been “a real improvement” in digital advertising in 2021. The Times struck a $25 million deal to buy Serial Productions and inked a multiyear partnership with This American Life last July. But much of its podcast strength continues to be tied to The Daily, which has topped Podtrac’s list of most listened-to shows for more than two years. 

The diversification of its podcast portfolio could not come at a better time. Interest in news has waned in recent months after President Trump left office. The Times said it had the smallest gain in new subscribers in a year and a half. Even so, the company said it still believes it will hit 10 million subscribers by 2025.

While we don't know which storylines will drive the next big news cycle, we do know that the size of our newsroom, its range of expertise, and our continued investment in meeting more needs position us to capture that demand, whatever its source,” said Kopit Levien.

Overall revenue during the first quarter was $473 million, a 6.6% increase from last year. And its operating profit increased to $51.7 million in the first quarter.