WSJ.com Turns 10; Celebrates Decade Of Pay With Free News

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Dow Jones is hosting an open house May1-10 at WSJ.com to celebrate the site’s tenth anniversary; the actual anniversary was April 29. As an article in Monday’s paper reminds us, the launch of the Online Journal almost didn’t happen that day when the publishing system ran amok. The initial Money & Investing site launched in 1995 was free as were the first few months of the full online offering. The subscription fee of $29 for print subscribers, $49 for non-subs, kicked in that August. By the following April, WSJ.com had 100,000 paying subs — not quite one third of the 350,000 or so who signed up for that free edition. The debate over whether the Journal’s situation is too unique to be used as a gauge for other media outlets considering an online sub route has been going on ever since.
The open-house tactic has delivered returns in the past for DJ by allowing prospective subs a chance to see what they would get for their money. (Maybe NYTimes.com will celebrate the first anniversary of TimesSelect in similar fashion.) … WSJ.com also is marking the event with 10 days of articles and features — self-coverage mixed with a look at how the internet has fared during the same time and efforts to look ahead.
Worth a look if you’re interested in the trajectory of online news
The evolution of the front page (Neil Budde, now at Yahoo, gets credit for developing the prototype and championing the project)
A working copy of the last edition of the prototype

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richardcavessa

Murdock, after one step forward, takes three steps back

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