Wall Street Journal to charge for mobile access

By Branko Brkic 17 September 2009

As the media company after media company is forced to re-think their electronic distribution strategy, News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch is again leading the charge: Before the end of the year, mobile users will have to cough up $2 per week to access his crown jewel, The Wall Street Journal ($1 if they are already WSJ subscribers). The mobile fees are part of the Murdoch’s greater effort to introduce payment scheme for all his other electronic properties (WSJ is one of the few global brands that already charge subscription fees for online access), and that, in turn, is part of the world-wide effort by the established media companies to reverse near 20-year trend in online information being available for free. Even as he is pushing for fees, Mr Murdoch is mindful that as successful as WSJ online subscription is (with more than 1 million subscribers) it is still generating only $55 million, which is a fraction of revenues necessary to run such a gigantic media company.

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