By Katelyn Philipp
A recent article from Folio says The Wall Street Journal offered free access to its website on Nov. 8. While viewers can normally read articles online without paying, exclusive content is reserved for subscribers. For one day the entire site was open.
The question is, will this ‘free sample’ increase subscriptions?
Newspapers are trying to increase their online presence, like the magazine and e-book industries. I’m sure The Wall Street Journal website traffic increased for the day, but I’m not convinced it will do so in the long run. While free samples are supposed to make customers want to buy the product, I think many people simply take advantage of them to get free stuff. They won’t necessarily end up paying for it.
People can see a lot of content on The Wall Street Journal’s website, and I don’t think they will pay to see the exclusive articles. They can get free news by simply turning on the television or checking other media outlets on their phone or computer. We access so many different sources daily that I don’t think people would be willing to pay for any certain one.
The Wall Street Journal is following the digital trend of consuming news though. According to a Pew Research Center study, nearly 50% of adults access news through a computer or mobile device. They typically use free apps though, because not many people are paying.
Currently, only 10% of adults use mobile apps to connect to local news and information have paid for those apps, according to our survey. This represents only 1% of the total U.S. adult population.
The Wall Street Journal tried something new to boost readership and revenue, but we will have to wait to see if it is a success.
Would or do you pay to receive full-access to a news website? Do you think more people will subscribe to The Wall Street Journal after Nov. 8?