OLD Media Moves

Disconnect between WSJ iPhone application and other access

April 23, 2009

Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review doesn’t understand why The Wall Street Journal has been giving away its content with its iPhone application.

Chittum writes, “It sure doesn’t make sense to me. The Journal charges $150 a year to get a daily paper delivered. It charges $100 a year or so to read its website. It charges $120 to subscribe to its content on the Kindle, which is in black and white and has no video. But it gives away its mobile content, a product that’s in some ways better than the Kindle and in some ways better than its website, for free. There’s just one tiny ad there bringing (presumably) one tiny revenue stream in for the paper.

“I understand this is probably a marketing thing to try to get a broad base of users quickly for the paper’s mobile app. And the app still has a ways to go. It doesn’t let you search for stories, for instance, or read older ones — maybe they plan to add those later for a fee.

“Maybe. Gahran points to a Wired story reporting that Dow Jones says it wants to charge for ‘some’ of the mobile content at some point but doesn’t know when. And I assumed that surely the paper kept back its most valuable content, the ‘Heard on the Street’ column. Not so. Meanwhile, Wired says the Journal has been giving away all this content on the BlackBerry for eight months already.”

Read more here.

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