Wall Street Journal to stop charging for Web content

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch tells investors he thinks The Wall Street Journalcan make more money from advertising than from paid subscriptions.

Rupert Murdoch plans to give away the digital version of the Wall Street Journal, making News Corp. the latest company to give up on paid subscriptions.

"We are studying it and we expect to make that free," Murdoch was quoted by the Associated Press as he spoke to a group of investors in Australia. He said that "instead of having one million (subscribers)," the company will receive readers "in every corner of the earth."

Murdoch is banking that a free model for WSJ.com, which recently announced that it had topped the 1 million-subscriber mark, will send readership skyrocketing and that advertisers will then flock to the site.

According to the AP, the Journal's subscribers generated about $50 million in annual revenue.

Few online services have succeeded at making a go of paid subscriptions but the Journal was widely considered to be at the head of the pack. In September, The New York Times stopped trying to sell subscriptions to premium content .

 

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