WSJ.com bets on the value of niche audience
Scott Karp, editor and publisher of Publishing 2.0, writes that the reason The Wall Street Journal is keeping most of its content behind a pay wall is its strong niche readership.
Karp wrote, “Yes, you can find WSJ readers elsewhere on the web reading free content, but there are few places where such an audience is highly concentrated. Behavioral targeting networks, for example, aim to target niche audiences wherever they go on the web, but many premium brand advertisers remain uncomfortable with the idea of dispersing their ads across a network. Itâ€™s much more comfortable, i.e. much more like traditional advertising, to reach a large percentage of your target audience in one place.
“The advantage of the web is supposed to be that itâ€™s more efficient than mass media advertising, i.e. reach only the people you want to reach. Thatâ€™s why search advertising is so powerful.
“Yet many sectors of online publishing are caught up in the volume game, battling for more and more unique visitors, but not always succeeding in attracting the ones that their advertisers value. And the more a siteâ€™s audience is diluted, the less valuable it becomes.”
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