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Free Wall Street Journal. Mostly.

If rumors are to be believed, the Wall Street Journal has been considering abandoning the subscription model for months. But alas, it’s not to be. Rupert Murdoch announced today that the Wall Street Journal, while expanding its free offerings, would not leave the subscription model. In fact, he stated that:

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) … The really special things will still be a subscription service, and, sorry to tell you, probably more expensive.

The site will continue to operate on a hybrid of advertising and subscription dollars. This decision could be due, at least in part, to reasons cited by estimates earlier this month that the Journal would need twelve times the traffic to break even on impression-based banner advertising if they abandoned the subscription based model altogether.

But will their new model—which will be “probably more expensive” to subscribers while offering more free content—pan out?

  • http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/blog Geoff Livingston

    It’s a good move by the WSJ. The NY Times saw a huge jump in online traffic when they opened up.

    GL

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    I was hoping they’d go more free, but I can’t blame them for holding onto the subscription model. Jordan I think you’re right that this decision came after Rupert Murdoch saw the numbers and realized how much more traffic he needed.

    It’s still more free content for us so it’s hard to complain.

  • http://www.newhomessection.com Jayson

    Yeah I couldn’t see them getting rid of their subscription model. I’ve read many articles about local newspapers losing big because everything their paper offers is free via the Internet. If they know they can’t break even without it then getting rid of it would be quite silly.

    Expanding their free services is a great way to bump up impressions but they’ll need to make sure their paying clients get the good stock information :)

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  • Tony P

    Now you can read WSJ for free!! Try it out: http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~panjiabe/?page_id=21

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