OLD Media Moves

Why the WSJ's microfinance plan won't work

May 11, 2009

Jonathan Berr writes Monday on DailyFinance about why he believes The Wall Street Journal‘s plan to charge online readers per article is doomed to failure.

Berr writes, “If the Journal were the only financial news website owned by News Corp., then the micropayment model might work. But the sister websites of the Journal range from MarketWatch, geared toward individual investors, to D| All Things Digital, which features what it calls ‘news, analysis and opinion about the digital revolution.’ The sites, including Barron’s, all have their individual strengths and weaknesses and feed off one another.

“What’s going to happen if the Journal breaks some big merger and acquisition story? Will people shell out 99 cents or so for an article when a free summary is available on MarketWatch, Bloomberg or CNBC? Is the Journal going to start to seek licenses from these other news outlets?

“Robert Thomson, the paper’s editor-in-chief, only offered vague details.”

Read more here.

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