Murdoch Seems Poised To Drop WSJ's Paywall As Well

from the better-for-long-term-business dept

With the New York Times finally realizing (two years too late) that paywalls don’t make sense for online newspapers, the one major remaining holdout is still the Wall Street Journal. So, it should come as little surprise that reporters wasted no time in tracking down new owner Rupert Murdoch to see if he stood by earlier comments suggesting that he’d make the Wall Street Journal free online. It certainly sounds like he’s still leaning in that direction, saying that he doesn’t see how making it free would hurt the paper, and that, if done right, it could help make the paper a lot more money. Indeed, though, we’re still waiting for an explanation for why it’s taken the pre-eminent business newspaper in the world this long to understand the larger picture.

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Companies: dow jones, wall street journal

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Comments on “Murdoch Seems Poised To Drop WSJ's Paywall As Well”

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Sean Dougherty (profile) says:

The Wall Street Journal Paywall

Dow Jones’ philosophy for all of its products – online and offline – is that what they do is worth money and that nothing is free. Even if their Factiva news search tool cost $3 an article vs. the much higher costs of rival Lexis/Nexis, it had to cost something. On the other hand, once you pay them, you are a customer and due a customer’s respect. My complaints about late deliveries of the WSJ once got them to change a delivery route to make sure the paper got to me by the time I had to catch my bus in the morning.

What I find most interesting is how The Wall Street Journal and New York Times each approached paid online content.

The Wall Street Journal gives away its editorial content through, and that site where they put Mossberg’s column. It protects its news content behind the paywall.

The New York Times gives away its news content but was protecting its opinion journalists behind a paywall.

The Wall Street Journal is convinced the product it can charge extra for is its news journalism. The New York Times thought it was Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd. “The news? Oh, that’s free…”

Tristan says:

Maybe the WSJ has remained a pay site

because it makes money?

There have been articles from many places over the years commenting on how WSJ online has bucked the trend of losing money by making their web site a pay service. That may no longer be true, but for a long time it did make money.

Murdoch will make whatever decision makes him the most money. Say what you want about the man, but he can get profit out of an industry that has been dying for decades.

GoblinJuice says:

Politics aside, the Journal is one of the best papers around. It’ll be a great day when most/all of it available is online for free.

I’m a fan of FoxNews*, but I really hope he doesn’t turn the Journal into a print version of the channel. There’s no real reason to, since that sort of market is already covered by the New York Post.

* Yep. Someone who admits to liking FoxNews. Feel free to respond with the anti-FoxNews bromide of the day. Try to to be original – please! =)

Kyros (profile) says:

Fox news is full of douches that fail not only to do any sort of research but spend more time shouting opinions then any sort of fact or real news. They’re also convinced that anything electronic can be used by pedophiles to molest children and can be used to get porn. Although, it is completely hilariously entertaining
That aside, this seems like a good plan.

Overcast says:

heh, all the big Media’s the same anymore. They just spin different directions and different speeds.

Still all comes down to a propaganda machine for the government’s IMO.

There’s ‘certain’ things you won’t really hear in the ‘big media’, but yet – can find tons of info on the web and smaller news sites…

I used to be partisan, but one day – I realized both sides have the same agenda, they just bicker over the methods.

Teilo says:


Yes, and of course that is why they are the most successful cable news network, and nobody else comes close, which would by your reckoning, would identify most cable news watchers as “douches”. Perhaps because they shower more often than you do? (look it up in a French lexicon).

Fox News does what is profitable. That’s why so many more of their reports are about sex than the CNNs of the world. Yeah, that’s right you neo-cons. Fox News is in business to make money, and sex sells. So do neo-con values. That’s why they do both all the time. .It’s also why I don’t watch Fox News much since I don’t need any more sex (I’ve got 5 kids – ironic, isn’t it?) and I can’t stand the neo-con philosophy.

But since Murdoch seems very good at setting up media outlets and letting them run with their own philosophy, I do not think anyone has to worry about the WSJ changing their content. He doesn’t care what their content is. He cares if they make money. WSJ has a reputation to uphold or else they lose their subscriber base and therefore lose money.

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