The Wall Street Journal would have to increase traffic to their site by 12x to make up for the lost subscription revenue. WSJ.com is going from paid subscriptions to free online access. A report from Bear Stearns analyst Spencer Wang made the prediction based on advertising rates for banner ads.
The CPM rate they used as a comparison is $6. That is quite low, especially considering the demographics of the audience. as BusinessWeek says they are: “business-minded, college-educated professionals with significantly above-average wealth—the sort of audience that advertisers, particularly makers of luxury goods, want to reach.”
The site has an estimated 989,000 subscribers and subscriptions are $79/year (though not all paying that rate). Traffic to the site is about 122.4 million page views a month. It seems a far stretch to get 12x the traffic, but earlier estimates said that it would take much less than that.
The report compares the WSJ.com with nytimes.com, CNN Money, usatoday.com MarketWatch and Yahoo Finance (see graphic).