Mr Murdoch reckons that the Journal could dominate the market for financial information online. A free wsj.com, he thinks, could attract 10m-15m regular readers from around the world (compared with 3.1m unique monthly users in September, according to comScore); the resulting increase in ad revenue would more than offset the loss of subscription income. Such a shift would be near-impossible to reverse. The Financial Times (owned by Pearson, part-owner of The Economist) recently took a step in the same direction, offering up to 30 free articles a month. But the FT will not go completely free, whatever happens at wsj.com. “We're confident in the value of our content and plan to keep subscriptions as a part of our online model,” says John Ridding, the FT's chief executive.
- The Wall Street Journal, Brace yourselves