Feeds

Wall Street Journal wants your micro-payments

Pay-per-view news

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Wall Street Journal online, one of the few remaining news websites that's charging for access, plans to introduce a micro-payments scheme this autumn.

Non-subscribers will be charged to view individual articles, according to a report Sunday — somewhat amusingly by the WSJ's overseas rival, The Financial Times and not the paper itself.

Robert Thomson, WSJ's managing editor, told the Financial Times a "sophisticated micro-payments service" will be instated to bill occasional users unwilling to pay the site's $100+ per year subscription rate. Pricing hasn't been decided, but Thomson told the FT ominously that the sum would be "rightfully high."

The paper also discussed selling "premium subscriptions" to niche business audiences that will bundle together different News Corp. services like access to Dow Jones newswire stories.

WSJ's new pondering of alternative payment models comes as the newspaper industry struggles to stay afloat amidst rapidly deflating subscriber numbers and advertising revenues. Micro-payments could certainly relieve the latter, but the wrong price risks the former. Charge too little, and those already ponying up a yearly fee would switch to the micropayment bargain, generating less revenue for the publication. Charge too much, and it's not going to attract any new audiences when news is easy and free elsewhere.

Still, the online publication is a rare instance of a subscription model working in the first place. Even the venerable New York Times had to abandon its TimesSelect online subscription regime in 2007 after predicting advertising revenue would generate more cash than subscription fees. But now that advertisers are pulling back, it's a scramble to see what business model can fly in today's economy. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.