Adding to The Wall Street Journal's existing premium service, parent Dow Jones & Co. on Wednesday announced plans to launch a subscription news service that delivers customized news feeds directly to desktops and mobile devices.
The Wall Street Journal Professional Edition will offer content from Dow Jones Newswires, The Wall Street Journal and the roughly 17,000 sources that are part of Dow Jones' news database unit Factiva.
Robert Thomson, editor in chief of Dow Jones & Co. and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, was less than subtle about the service's advantage to rival Bloomberg.
"We are not imprisoned by a terminal and are thus able to produce a more contemporary, Web-based news feed tailored to a sector, a company or an asset class," said Thomson. "Readers will be able to create a virtual newswire and alert system that suits their specific business needs."
The subscription service is expected to be available to enterprise customers next month, while broader availability is slated for next year. It will cost $49 a month for individual subscribers with discounts for enterprise licenses.
Last month, News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch told attendees at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XVIII Conference to soon expect to pay for Journal content on their mobile devices.
Murdoch, whose vast media empire spans from the New York Post to equity in Hulu, said this summer that he'd had it with free content, and would soon begin charging for access to any and all content under his control.
Also, at Murdoch's behest, News Corp. execs have been meeting with top publishers -- New York Times Co., Washington Post Co., Hearst Corp. and Tribune Co. -- about forming a consortium based on charging for distributed content, both online and on mobile devices.
News Corp.'s chief digital officer Jon Miller, however, has since qualified News Corp.'s position, telling attendees of OMMA Global last month that there is a place for free content. "This is really an exercise in market segmentation," he said.
At the same conference last month, Martin Nisenholtz, SVP of digital operations at The New York Times Company, said his company was reconsidering a subscription business model. At the time, Nisenholtz noted that there is "potentially a zeitgeist change going on," as "people realize that they might have to pay for some of this stuff in the future."