Even a harrowing year for newspapers couldn't knock The Wall Street Journal from its pedestal. For the 10th straight year, the newspaper has earned the top spot in BtoB's Media Power 50.
The newspaper is the premiere business journalism brand in the U.S.—and probably on the planet. “It's still the leading media brand in the b2b world,” said Dave Rowe, VP-media director at Doremus.
Even in these apocalyptic times for newspapers, the Journal is growing its paid circulation. In the first quarter, it was the only U.S. newspaper in the top 25 to show an increase in total circulation, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Total average paid circulation for print and electronic editions of the Journal increased 0.6% to 2.08 million in the first quarter, from 2.07 million in last year's first quarter.
|Wall Street Journal
Phone: (212) 597-5868
Traffic: 23.3 million unique monthly visitors++
Ad revenue (print): N/A
Ad revenue (online): N/A
Ad rate (print): $277,646 for 1 page 4/C (U.S. edition)
Ad rate (online): N/A
Comment: In an era when newspapers are losing circulation, the Journal continues to gain readers both online and in print. Readers crave the Journal’s take on business news in these uncertain times, a fact not lost on b2b marketers.
The Journal's audience is enviable, and it remains an attractive one for b2b advertisers. The newspaper reaches 51% of all C-suite executives, according to the Purchase Influence in American Business Survey conducted by Erdos & Morgan.
Faced with the current uncertain times, business executives need to stay informed about the global economy, and the Journal is a top choice for doing that. Readers are turning to the Journal both in print and online. “They have done a good job transitioning to digital,” said Rowe, who pointed out that the Journal is the only major newspaper site that has been able to consistently generate substantial revenue from online subscriptions.
The big reason for that—aside from having the gumption to charge for content when everyone else is giving it away for free—is the content itself. It's must-have business information.
“There is no doubt that, across platforms and around the world, the quality of Wall Street Journal journalism is being recognized by readers,” Robert Thomson, the newspaper's managing editor, said in a statement.
The Journal hasn't sat still under Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which acquired Dow Jones & Co. in December 2007. The paper has added political and news coverage to its core business reporting. It has also invested in the product by expanding its editorial and opinion pages.
Michael Rooney, the Journal's chief revenue officer, said that's an advantage of working for News Corp., a company with deep pockets. “We went from a medium-sized company under Dow Jones with limited resources to a large company in News Corp. with more resources, and we've put them to good use. These are difficult times, but we've launched a magazine (WSJ.). We've launched a mobile edition. We've launched a Chinese Web site. We're continuing to grow in Asia and Europe.
“Watch out when the economy turns, because we're cooking with gas right now in a difficult time.”
Because Dow Jones is now a unit of News Corp., it's much more difficult to ascertain the financial performance of the Journal. News Corp.'s most recent 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicated that Dow Jones contributed $1.028 billion in revenue in the last six months of 2008.
The Journal continues to attract top-notch b2b advertisers. You don't have to look much further than the Journal's front page, where Dell, Exxon Mobil, Intel, General Motors Corp. and Morgan Stanley have all purchased yearlong contracts for below-the-fold fractional ads.
But these are not boom times. Mixed in with ads for Chevron and NetJets are an ample supply of house ads. “High costs for both print and online have become prohibitive for smaller advertisers,” Rowe said. “The cost of a full-page, four-color print ad is now over $230,000.”
But the Online Journal provides a far less expensive opportunity for smaller advertisers to reach the Journal's audience and align themselves with the brand. “It is a great entry point. It is a smaller price point,” Rooney said. “I would say an example of that would be the online brokers—the TD Waterhouses, the Charles Schwabs—[that] have used online as a great entry into the brand.”