OLD Media Moves

WSJ charging for content is a "no brainer"

September 25, 2009

Staci Kramer of PaidContent.org interviewed Gordon McLeod, the president of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, about the company’s efforts to begin charging for more content, particularly mobile applications, and McLeod called the decision a “no brainer.”

Kramer writes, “McLeod and his team are keenly aware that the same mobile app won’t work for every device. It’s not just the technology, says McLeod, ‘they definitely have different users.’ The BlackBerry app was first. ‘We spent a lot of time when we created the Mobile Reader for BlackBerry focusing on what it does best, and how it best presents content and functionality. [Then] we didn’t just clone the BlackBerry version of the reader, we spent a lot more time developing in an Apple framework to see what the best presentation and navigation would be in that format. …  We also went out in the marketplace and asked what people thought about the devices; nobody’s really done this before so it’s not like there’s a lot of data out there on how to approach this’

“—Mobile Reader is not WSJ.com: The Mobile Reader has more content than the print edition and less than WSJ.com. Each version has some variations: MarketWatch is planning its own iPhone app so isn’t included in the WSJ Mobile Reader; BlackBerry users get info from across the WSJ Digital Network. The behavior differs from WSJ.com; McLeod says the mobile apps will update faster, more often and with more headlines during the day. But the products are designed to be complementary if a user subscribes across platforms, for instance, sharing and saving functionality; eventually, users of both online and mobile should be able to use their portfolios interchangeably, and other features.”

Read more here.

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