Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Wall Street Journal -- Will it ever be free?

I love the Journal. If you haven't been lucky enough to read it regularly, you're missing out. I used to think that it was too stuffy and only for the rich or the finance guys, but it really is a fantastically written paper with really interesting and valuable information, nearly every day.

Writing my last post, I got a little irritated that the Journal doesn't offer their articles free online like nearly every other paper. I mean, I know it's a little irrational, given that the paper itself is like a trillion dollars a year (luckily my wife gets the write-off so I get it every day), but c'mon. Where's the good ol' free web spirit?

Do you think they'll ever offer their content free? I think I read an article some time back that they are making pretty good money on the online subscription (probably because everyone charges it back to their employer), but c'mon, with all the hoopla about online advertising, it's growth and the shortage of good inventory are they missing an opportunity or are they truly maximizing their revenue?

This is one of those times when I wish I had a reader base to help me answer this dilemma instead of just talking to myself... sigh :(


At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Robbie said...

Having worked at an online newspaper for years, I can tell you this has always been a contentious issue for these institutions...

Here's a good MeFi article regarding the NYT decision (2005) to charge for op/ed access (they've always required registration, BTW, which I think is a much more viable model).



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