New York times220

As publisher of the most listened-to podcast, the morning news show The Daily, The New York Times has emerged as an unexpected advocate of on-demand audio. That extends to Madison Avenue where the nation’s largest newspaper has helped sell podcasting to big brand advertisers.

“The Daily is certainly much larger than we expected an ascended ad product,” said EVP/COO Meredith Kopit on a conference call with analysts last week. “There is real demand for audio advertising in association with quality unique content that has big audiences.”

Executives have previously said the Times’ podcasts attract a “substantially younger” audience than the traditional print and digital news product with 75% of its listeners under the age of 40. The podcast listeners are also more likely to be female. That’s helped make it an attractive product when approaching advertisers.

The New York Times Company doesn’t release podcast-specific revenue but it said its total digital revenue advertising revenue grew 14% during the second quarter compared to an 8% drop in print ad dollars. But CEO Mark Thompson said The Daily is “intrinsically cash positive and generates revenue” for the company.

The expansion into audio has paved the way for the Times to create The Weekly, its new video series that also airs on the FX cable network. In addition to generating revenue on their own, Thompson said both products serve as promotional vehicles for the paper and get new audiences “engaged in journalism” and ultimately become subscribers.

The Times has already begun to leverage the success of The Daily to build attention for other podcasts. That includes its Caliphate podcast series. “We're optimistic that over time, our other podcasts in addition to The Daily will become meaningful ad products,” Kopit said.