Key Fourth Quarter Highlights • The Company added approximately 300,000 net digital-only subscribers compared with the end of the third quarter of 2023, fueled by bundle and multi-product subscriber additions • Total digital-only average revenue per user (“ARPU”) grew 3.5 percent year-over-year to $9.24 primarily as a result subscribers graduating from promotional to higher prices and price increases on tenured non-bundled subscribers • Higher digital subscribers and ARPU drove year-over-year growth in subscription revenues from digital products of 7.2 percent • Digital advertising revenues decreased 3.7 percent year-over-year largely as a result of the five fewer days in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to 2022 as well as declines in revenue from our podcasts and creative services • Operating costs decreased 4.8 percent year-over-year and adjusted operating costs (defined below) decreased 0.7 percent, largely as a result of lower cost of revenue, partially offset by higher salesand marketing and product development costs • Operating profit of $129.0 million, a 38.7 percent increase year-over-year, with adjusted operating profit (defined below) of $154.0 million, an 8.5 percent increase year-over-year primarily as a result of higher digital subscription and other revenues as well as lower adjusted operating costs, partially offset by lower advertising revenues
In recent years, a surge in the use of counterfeit postage has been found in the mail stream. The intentional use, or sale, of counterfeit postage is a crime because it seeks to obtain services without payment. This activity reflects an intentional effort to defraud the Postal Service of the funds it needs to provide services to the public.
In response to this problem, the Postal Service is filing a federal register notice about changes to the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®), that will allow the Postal Service to treat items found in the mail stream bearing counterfeit postage as abandoned. “As the most trusted government agency in the nation, we will continue to work together with other law enforcement and government agencies to protect the sanctity of the mail,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale.
The Postal Service’s proposed changes will provide the public notice of the handling of items bearing counterfeit postage. Under the revision to DMM 604.8.4, articles found in the mails with counterfeit postage will be considered abandoned and may be opened and disposed of at the Postal Service’s discretion. The mission of the Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service is to ensure the safety, security, and integrity of the U.S. Mail. The implementation of these new regulations will continue to support and enhance this mission.
Counterfeit postage is any marking or indicia that has been made, printed, or otherwise created without authorization from the Postal Service that is printed or applied, or otherwise affixed, on an article placed in the mails that indicates or represents that valid postage has been paid to mail the article. Consumers purchasing online items may be surprised to find out that the vendor mailed their goods using counterfeit postage. Under the new regulations, such items will be considered abandoned and disposed of at the Postal Service’s discretion. When this occurs, consumers will have to seek recourse from the vendor.