Operating profit decreased to $37.9 million in the second quarter of 2019 from $40.0 million in the same period of 2018 and adjusted operating profit (defined below) decreased to $55.6 million from $59.4 million in the prior year, as higher costs more than offset higher digital-only subscription revenues, other revenues and digital advertising revenues. Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer, The New York Times Company, said, “We had another strong quarter in digital subscription growth and we’re making steady progress toward our goal of reaching 10 million total subscriptions by 2025. In Q2, we added 197,000 net new digital-only subscriptions, 131,000 of which came from our core news product and the rest from our rapidly expanding Cooking and Crossword products. Today, The Times has 4.7 million total subscriptions. While profitability declined in the quarter, that is in large part a result of continued investment into growing our subscription business.
Pearson, the world’s learning company, today announced the acquisition of industry-leading digital learning technology from Smart Sparrow, an ed tech innovator based in Sydney, Australia. The deal values Smart Sparrow’s assets at US $25 million.
The technology being acquired will enhance Pearson’s current capabilities in adaptive learning significantly, and will help accelerate the roll-out of Pearson’s Global Learning Platform (GLP). The GLP is an engine that enables Pearson and its partners to launch breakthrough personalized learning experiences for students more quickly and with better outcomes.
With this technology, the GLP will gain better functionality and provide enhanced user experiences. It will give authors the ability to co-design content that can be created and updated for students and instructors more expediently.
The technology also enables Pearson to improve its e-book offering and build next generation e-books that are more immersive, interactive and engaging. With this technology, Pearson aims to significantly expand and enhance its e-book catalogue, developing new functionality to differentiate its offering from others.
“This acquisition aligns with our strategy and affirms Pearson’s commitment to accelerating our digital transformation for the benefit of students, educators and authors,” said Tim Bozik, President of Global Product & North America Courseware, Pearson. “The Smart Sparrow technology will help build more personalized and effective learning experiences that engage students whenever and wherever they need it. We believe this has the potential to drive better learning outcomes that in turn will lead to improved employability prospects.”
“Our mission has always been to inspire the next wave in digital learning through pioneering educational technology and awesome learning design,” said Dror Ben-Naim, Smart Sparrow Founder and CEO. “We are proud and excited that our technology will help Pearson advance their mission on behalf of students and teachers across the globe.”
Earlier this year, Pearson announced all future releases of its 1,500 active U.S. titles will be “digital first” and updated on an ongoing basis.
The acquisition is supported by findings in Pearson’s Global Learner Survey that reported an expectation for digital and virtual learning to be the new normal in the next decade.
The Smart Sparrow technology allows for the creation and delivery of next-generation, rich, interactive, and adaptive learning experiences that drive engagement and create opportunities for better learner outcomes.