News Corp revenue flat as advertising slides

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 9 May 2024
Credit: Marcus Ng via Unsplash

News Corp’s revenue fell 1% to $US2.42 billion in the March quarter, driven by sliding advertising.

The global media group also reported lower physical book sales, challenging housing market conditions in the US and a $21 million or 1% negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. 

The decrease was partly offset by higher Australian residential revenue at REA and continued strong growth in the professional information business at financial publisher Dow Jones. 

Excluding the impact of foreign currency, acquisitions and divestitures, revenue was flat compared to the same three months last year.

Net income in the quarter was $42 million, compared to $59 million last year.

At Foxtel, revenue fell 5% to $US455 million. However, 4% of that was caused by a strong US dollar.

The impact from fewer residential cable subscribers was mostly offset by sports streaming service Kayo with increases in both volume and pricing. Revenue from BINGE benefited from an increase in pricing.

Foxtel’s total closing paid subscribers at the end of March fell 1% to 4.5 million,  driven by fewer residential broadcast subscribers and lower BINGE subscribers.

In the News Media division, revenue at News Corp Australia fell 10%, driven by lower advertising revenues, and dragged down by an $8 million, or 4%, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations.

Print advertising was lower at News Corp Australia and digital advertising was down mainly driven by a decline in traffic at some mastheads due to "platform related" changes.

At the end of March, digital subscribers at News Corp Australia were 1,113,000 (966,000 for news mastheads),  up from  1,043,000 (937,000 for news mastheads).

“News Corp has again made substantial progress on our strategic imperative to transform the company and increase value for all shareholders,” said CEO Robert Thomson.

“News Corp’s profitability rose slightly in the third quarter as compared to the prior year, continuing our growth this fiscal year — and that increase, which gathered pace in April, follows the three most profitable years since the company was reincarnated in 2013.

“We are in the midst of an exponential digital revolution, and our own company has continued to change significantly and profitably. 

“Importantly, we are working to promote our quality journalism in the age of Generative AI and are gratified that the most enlightened leaders in the industry appreciate the commercial and social value of that content.

“Separately, we have this week extended our existing partnership with Google."

“As mentioned previously, we have been reviewing our company’s structure — and that work is intense and ongoing — and we have made underlying changes to provide maximum flexibility.”

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