No Free Lunch at Online Wall Street Journal

Posted on January 25, 2008

Not only is Rupert Murdoch not going to give the content away for free he is also ging to charge more for it. The news comes after rumors that Murdoch might take the popular financial newspaper free once he gained control of it. Wall Street Journal ironically reported on the story in a free article on the

Mr. Murdoch made his latest comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in answering a question. "We are going to greatly expand and improve the free part of The Wall Street Journal online, but there will still be a strong offering" for subscribers, he said. "The really special things will still be a subscription service, and, sorry to tell you, probably more expensive."

The mix of free and paid content will continue to be tweaked, however, and a good portion of Wall Street Journal content increasingly is available free online. Free content includes the Journal's breaking-news alerts and personal-finance and lifestyle content, as well as videos, blogs, podcasts and other interactive elements. This month, the Journal began offering free access to all of its Opinion section.

Online-only subscription prices are expected to jump $20 to $119 a year as early as March. Print subscribers pay $49 a year for a subscription to the Web site. The last price increase came 18 months ago. As recently as this week, the Journal was offering online-only introductory subscriptions for $79 to bring in new subscribers, a common practice in the publishing industry. The bundled online-print price isn't scheduled to increase.

It sounds like there will be some free content for people who come to read individual articles from Google News.
For the past several months, the paper also has run a test with Google News: Online readers can come to the Journal's site from Google News and read any individual article free but are blocked from entering many other parts of the site. The goal is to capitalize on the traffic that comes from search engines and let users sample the Journal to encourage them to subscribe.
The WSJ did recently make the editorial content on the Opinion Journal free> to online readers.

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