The Future of Print

WSJ Online Expanded Pay Plans Include Bundles, Micropayments

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on May 11, 2009

It seems like only yesterday that News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch was talking about making WSJ.com free—and people were falling for it. But even before the deal to acquire Dow Jones NYSE: NWS closed in late 2007, Murdoch was leaving plenty of wiggle room for more, not fewer, premium offerings. And, in today’s reality, DJ is looking at any and every way to get more people to pay directly for access to the WSJ in a variety of forms, while encouraging current subscribers to pay even more by expanding offerings. That includes bundling subscriptions across devices and platforms, as well as the micropayments and premium subscriptions now in the news.

As the Financial Times and Reuters reported Sunday, the paper is closer to trying micropayments, an option suggested recently by DJ Editor-in-Chief Robert Thomson. He said last month that micro-payment systems needed to be more sophisticated; now he says DJ is working on its own version and plans to launch this fall. The target user is someone who wants access to some articles but would spend less than $100 a year. The current online-only special offer subscription rate for first-time subs is $103; print, $119. A one-year “discounted” subscription is $349. The site also will offer premium subscriptions for energy, commodities, wealth management and other niches that will include access to Dow Jones Newswires, according to the FT. Pricing is still under discussion.

Via Paid Content

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