to go free?

November 21, 2007

Rupert Murdoch said last week that he’d like to make the online Wall Street Journal–to which over 1 million reader subscribe–free. [AP via] Frankly, I’d forgotten the WSJ was a pay site–’cause I never visit it.

Let’s see: It costs $79 a year to access most WSJ content on But as Wikipedia says, any newspaper with a subscription to the Dow Jones wire can make that content available. (Case in point: by Northwestern University publishes the Wall Street Journal’s media news.)

Anyway, far be it from me to agree with Mr. Murdoch–but I agree with Mr. Murdoch. The easier it is for someone to get the information they want without leaving your site, the more likely it is that that person is going to see YOUR ads. And for all the talk of new models of paying for Web content, ads are still the way most people are making their money.

Something else that should have been mentioned a month ago is that the Erie Times-News, where I interned over the summer, has opened up its content, too. Previously, filling out a fairly lengthy registration form was required to read pretty much any article on the site. Now you just click and you’re in. Go Erie!


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