Rupert Murdoch promised his shareholders when News Corp (NYSE: NWS). acquired Dow Jones that the company’s content was ripe for premium products — and execs have been signaling for months that something was on the way from the Wall Street Journal. Turns out the first entry — and the only coming in 2009 — is a blend of WSJ and Factiva called The Wall Street Journal Professional Edition, a new site billed as a premium business news service. (That description isn’t odd but I would venture to guess a large chunk of the WSJ’s existing subs get it because they think it’s already aimed at professionals. ) WSJ Pro will be available for enterprise users in November, going wider in January. Reuters reports a subscription will run $49 a month, just under $600 a year. For some context within the confusion of WSJ pricing, that’s a little less than the newsstand price of about $610, considerably more than the discounted print subscription of $391, and considerably less than the WSJ.com rate of about $100.
It’s also just under a third of the cost of a real-time Bloomberg Terminal, not an exact comparison but the statement by Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones, suggests strongly they want WSJ Pro to be viewed not as a substitute for their own basic service but as an alternative to Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters (NSDQ: TRIN) terminals: “We are not imprisoned by a terminal and are thus able to produce a more contemporary web-based news feed tailored to a sector, a company or an asset class.”
So what will subscribers get beyond full access to WSJ.com?
– A high level of curation. Alan Murray, executive editor for online, told me the site has a “significant editorial element, adding, “the Factiva tools are incredibly powerful. We’re putting our editors between them and you.” . Six sections will be edited continuously — pharmaceuticals, healthcare, energy, media & marketing, telecommunications and technology. There are also 30-plus industry topic pages.
– Access to Factiva’s 17,000-plus sources plus some Dow Jones editorial content that isn’t part of WSJ.com.
– Use of Factiva SmartSearch for “filtered” searches of one year of Factica archives and t