No Complete WSJ.com Access

January 25, 2008
Wall Street Journal Won’t Be Free

Hopes of the Wall Street Journal getting rid of their online subscription revenue have been seriously dashed: speaking at the World Economic Forum, Rupert Murdoch reportedly stated, “‘The really specialized (material) giving the greatest insights, that will still be a subscription service.'” However, the New York Times pointed out that Murdoch has “has vacillated publicly” about staying fee-based; the article noted that in November, Murdoch said “‘We expect to make that free.'” So why the change? Although I highly doubt Murdoch and company based the decision on this information, a Bear Stearns analyst concluded that to free WSJ.com, the site would need 12x more traffic. On The Long Tail, Chris Anderson explicated why that conclusion is probably false. I mostly agree with him, since the analysis is “based on an estimated CPM of $6”; that price estimation strikes me as ludicrous, because I’m pretty sure old media schedules for my clients do not include a $6 CPM.

Oh well. I was hoping I could gain access to more articles, such as “A CDO Called Norma,” especially since the topic directly affects my work. Looks like I’ll just have to wait for that raise.

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