WSJ.com's Subscribers Reach 1 Million Mark; How Much Longer?

3 Comments

The Wall Street Journal, part of Dow Jones, (NYSE: NWS) announced today on Sunday that WSJ.com has reached the 1 million paid subscribers mark. WSJ.com subscriptions grew 30 percent during this two year period, it also said.

Print continues to dog WSJ, though: According to the recent ABC FAS-FAX numbers, also released today, total paid Wall Street Journal circulation (print & online) is 2,012,000, showing a decline of 1.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago (though not as much as general newspapers). More in DJ’s release here.

Of course, the big question, raised at our FOBM conference earlier in the week as well, is how long will the pay wall continue. Given the anticipation that Rupert Murdoch will open access once the News Corp. acquisition of DJ is complete, it could be viewed a bit like the wicked witch putting up an umbrella to keep from melting.

Gordon Crovitz, the publisher of WSJ, had this to say at his Q&A:

3 Comments

Mike Mathieu

I recently tried to cancel my WSJ.com subscription and found that you can't do it online. So I called the number, and waited 20 minutes on hold (I have a headset, so I put up with it.) I asked to cancel, and they said, ok, you have 5 months left on the subscription so when it's over, your renewals will end. I said, "Not so fast. I want a prorated refund." They said of course, and refunded the money on my credit card.

This reminds me of the stuff that AOL pulled when they started bleeding subscribers years ago. If you're looking for the early indicator that a free WSJ.com is inevitable, look no further.

Weeks

The WSJ success was earned, no doubt about it. They work their tails off trying to provide context in the biz news market. But, that said, their large subscriber base mostly about the power of having a strong brand.

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