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TIME Reaches New Digital Revenue Milestones Alongside Continued Business Growth and Transformation

5 minute read

TIME President Keith A. Grossman sent the following note to staff Monday:


Over the past three months, we launched and tested different programs, partnerships, business models and approaches to set the stage for the continued transformation of TIME. As you will recall, we set 4 key goals for Q2 and have done much to achieve them.

Below is a topline recap of our collective accomplishments:

Streamlining our B2B Approach

  • The shift from category to account specific coverage combined with an ideas-based approach that clearly provided value and / or utility for our partners delivered. TIME’s Top 10 partners have invested more with the brand, year-to-date in 2020 than the Top 10 partners did in all of 2019.
  • Our digital revenues grew +58% YoY in Q2 and they exceeded print revenues for the first time in our brand’s history.
  • Accelerating Data Collection and Recurring Revenue Streams

  • Our US print subscription revenue over-delivered against our internal projections by +6% as we also increased the margin on our global print business.
  • We established deeper relationships with our consumers through multiple product launches during Q2 that helped us secure direct, opted-in relationships with over 1.2 million+ individuals.
  • Evolving TIME’s Touchpoints and Distribution

  • We launched TIME100 Talks.
  • We launched TIME for Health and TIME100 Talks: Health.
  • We pivoted TIME for Kids from being in classrooms and just for teachers to being available globally and to everyone.
  • We launched TIME for Learning through a partnership with Columbia Business School.
  • We launched NextAdvisor in partnership with Red Ventures.
  • This is only some of what we accomplished as a team during this period but it illustrates our 4th goal nicely: Staying Top of Mind by “Doing” – not “Telling.”

    Recognizing it was – and remains – a challenging moment in the industry and the world, these are tremendous achievements and I wanted to personally thank each of you again for commitment to delivering against these objectives during this time.

    How do we continue to build upon this foundation to ensure future growth?

    Over the course of Q3 and the remainder of the year, we will re-focus our resources and attention and implement four evolved strategies:

  • Establishing Multiple, Recurring Revenue Streams
  • Evolving TIME’s Video & Streaming Strategy
  • Increasing TIME’s B2B Deal Sizes
  • Continuing our Digital Transformation & Launching a B2C App for Consumers
  • See below for a little more context on each of these strategies.

    Establishing Multiple, Recurring Revenue Streams

    Historically, we have primarily had two subscription revenue streams: TIME Magazine and the TIME for Kids’ print product. Over the course of Q2, our work in establishing deeper relationships with our consumers combined with our larger owned-and-operated ecosystem now enables us to begin to map our communities interests and provide more bespoke options and offerings to convert more of our audience into paid consumers. Two weeks ago, we began to price test a third stream with a TIME for Kids digital subscription that will have a larger roll-out in September.

    By the end of the year, our goal is to at least double the number of our recurring revenue streams through the launch of TIME for Kids as well as TIME digital subscriptions.

    Evolving TIME’s Video & Streaming Strategy: Impact, Revenue & Brand Transformation

    Given the strength of TIME Studios, we have the production capabilities and skill sets in-house to pivot faster and more creatively than most in the industry. This allows us to build new revenue streams while creating tremendous editorial impact. It is one of the main reasons we were so successful in launching TIME100 Talks and TIME100 Talks: Health in such a short period of time.

    As we are seeing in real-time with the TIME100 and its upcoming broadcast special, Studios has enabled us to grow relationships across the business at an accelerated pace. With our in-house production team, we are forming new partnerships, testing innovative business models and exploring incremental opportunities in film and TV that will also drive meaningful B2B expansion. It will also enable us to expand TIME for Learning into new educational opportunities for our consumers.

    Increasing TIME’s B2B Deal Sizes

    As mentioned above, we saw impressive digital growth in Q2 (+58% YoY) and, for the first time ever, digital revenues exceeded print revenues for our brand. Additionally, our Top 10 partners in 2020 have invested more with our brand this year than our Top 10 partners in 2019 did for the full year. That is truly an incredible feat.

    Still, to build upon this momentum, we will need to continue to increase our B2B deal sizes by providing key partners with the best possible ideas grounded in the TIME brand and the unique value we can deliver to our clients.

    Continuing our Digital Transformation & Launching a Consumer App

    A few weeks ago, we announced the formation of TIME NEXT to focus our team of engineers, product managers, ad, and data experts on the following five priorities to lead us into the future: Subscriptions, Video, Mobile App, Revenues and Support. Given the aforementioned strategies, you can see how core this team is to the transformation of TIME.

    One of this team’s key initiatives will be to launch a new app for our consumers by the end of the year. There will be more to come on this initiative as we continue to flesh out the details.

    So how do we move forward to achieve these objectives?

    Over the past month, we have assessed not only what we need to be doing to evolve, but also what we need to stop doing at a team and organizational level.

    I am confident we will be able to do this.

    Thank you again for all of your hard work and hope you are proud of the path we continue to forge here at TIME.



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