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By Tim Baysinger
NEW YORK Dec 28 Presidential politics and
celebrity interviews helped The New York Times Co
surpass 100 million views for its Facebook Live videos, the
company said on Wednesday.
Facebook launched its livestreaming platform in
August of 2015 and it is in its infancy. The New York Times has
used Facebook Live to showcase its journalism, hoping to reach
potential subscribers as the newspaper publisher relies more
heavily on digital to grow its revenue.
It was not clear how much revenue The New York Times has
derived from producing these videos.
Multiple media outlets reported that Facebook was paying
certain media companies to produce Live videos through a
one-year period from March 2016 to March 2017. The Wall Street
Journal also reported that The New York Times was being paid
around $3 million for the one-year period.
A New York Times spokeswoman declined to comment on any
financials or the Wall Street Journal report. A Facebook
spokesperson confirmed the company has been offering "temporary
financial support" to a "relatively small number of companies"
to produce videos.
The Times said it reached the 100 million views benchmark
earlier this month. Comparative figures were not available for
how the New York Times ranks against similar publishers,
including The Washington Post.
The Times got more 5 million views on its livestream of the
first presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and
Democrat Hillary Clinton. There were 3.9 million views for a
concert by Erykah Badu and another popular Times livestream
featured singer-actress Kristin Chenoweth.
Digital is becoming more important for many major U.S. media
companies, particularly the New York Times, where print
advertising revenue has been in freefall. During its most recent
quarter, ad revenue from print slid 18.5 percent from the
previous year, accounting for just 22 percent of its total
revenue, said chief executive Mark Thompson during the Nov. 2
Digital ad revenue, which saw a 21.4 percent rise, now
accounts for 35.5 percent of revenue at the New York Times.
During that same earnings call, chief revenue officer Meredith
Kopit Levien said video was becoming more of a factor in growing
digital ad revenue.
(Reporting by Tim Baysinger; Editing by David Gregorio)