News Corp reported a 3% jump in revenue to $US2.59 billion the December quarter.
The growth was primarily driven by higher Australian residential revenues at REA Group, continued strong growth in the professional information business at Dow Jones, increased digital sales and improved returns due to better sell through of inventory in books.
However, the result was dragged down by lower advertising revenue at News Corp's media unit where the company's news titles sit. Advertising revenue was down 9%, with total segment revenue down 3% to $US563 million.
Digital represented 38% of News Media segment revenue.
Foxtel revenue was up 2% to $US470 million, driven by higher revenues from Kayo and BINGE. Streaming subscription represented 29% of total circulation and subscription revenue, up from 26%.
As of December, Foxtel’s total closing paid subscribers were more than 4.3 million, flat compared to the prior year.
“News Corp again saw growth in both revenue and profitability this quarter as we continue to realise the collective benefit of our strategic shift to digital and subscription revenues, and away from sometimes volatile advertising revenues," says CEO Robert Thomson.
Revenue at News Corp Australia fell 6%, driven by lower advertising revenues. News reported "lower print advertising" at News Corp Australia.
News Corp Australia's digital subscribers as of December were 1,051,000 (940,000 for news mastheads), up from 1,011,000 (924,000 for news mastheads) in the prior year.
Thomson reiterated News Corp's campaign to be paid for its premium content when used to train AI
"We expect to be a core content provider for Generative AI companies, who need the highest quality, timely content to ensure the relevance and accuracy of their products," he says.
"We patently prefer negotiation to litigation, courtship to courtrooms. But let’s be clear, in my view those who repurpose without approval are stealing and are undermining the very act of creativity – counterfeiting is not creating, and the AI world is replete with content counterfeiters."
Thomson highlighted the plight of the Wall Street Journal's Evan Gershkovich, who "continues to be unjustly detained in a Moscow prison, solely for being a highly professional journalist.
"We hope that justice will prevail and thank all who publicly, and not so publicly, have been working to secure his emancipation.”
From the December quarter results announcement:
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