Dow Jones CEO Lewis still aims for 3 million subscribers
Ian Burrell of The Drum interviewed Dow Jones & Co. chief executive officer William Lewis about the company’s strategy to reach 3 million subscribers.
Burrell writes, “But, across its portfolio, Dow Jones has 2.5 million subscriptions (including a further 1 million who take the WSJ in print) and is on course to reach a target of 3 million set by Lewis shortly after he became CEO.
“‘I confidently expect the 3 million barrier to be smashed through in good time, to the extent that I am actually thinking seriously about extending that goal,’ he says. ‘I am thinking there is probably substantial uplift potential in future subscription growth.’
“Setting that challenging 3 million target, which he says will be achieved next year, was ‘a little bit frisky’ but intended as a signal in 2013 that Dow Jones was ‘aiming for growth’ and not merely managing decline. Today, for all the cuts related to WSJ2020, Lewis claims that Dow Jones’s long-term financial future is secure, thanks to it having a breadth of revenue streams ranging from the august financial magazine Barron’s to new products such as experimental London-based app WSJ City.
“‘It’s now clear,’ he says. ‘Monetising news is pretty straightforward. You can get print advertising, digital advertising, subscriptions, you can sell data packages, you can sell custom content, which is booming, you can put on live events, you can do verticals like WSJ Pro where we charge you extra for extra information. It’s harder than it was but it’s deﬁnitely fine – there’s a proven way forward to monetise professional journalism.’
“More confident talk. He is briefly despondent again when discussing investigative journalism, which he believes is in the doldrums across the industry. The reporting of tech companies is ‘pathetic’ he says, presumably with Google and Facebook in mind.”
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