While most newspapers keep on shedding readers, The Wall Street Journal again gained subscribers in the last Audit Bureau of Circulations measuring period. The Journal's paid subscribers, both in print and online, increased 1.8% to almost 2.1 million for the period ended Sept. 30.
This engaged audience of top executives—Journal research indicates readers spend almost an hour a day with the newspaper—is coveted by marketers of all stripes, particularly horizontal b2b advertisers. "It's hard to get that audience, because they're a very media-resistant audience," said Caroline Riby, media director at marketing communications agency Roberts Communications.
The newspaper won no Pulitzer prizes this year, but in a memo to staffers, Dow Jones Editor in Chief Robert Thomson pointed to the exceptional coverage the newspaper produced in the past year, including its "What They Know" stories on Internet privacy. The series helped spur the introduction of online privacy bills in Congress and browsers to offer "do not track" features.
The Journal's business model is to leverage this kind of reporting in every available platform. Michael Rooney, the Journal's chief revenue officer, likened content to a "liquid" that will easily flow into a number of containers, including the print newspaper, wsj.com, the brand's iPad app, Dow Jones Newswires and other Dow Jones properties. "Any time, any way, any how," Rooney said, describing the strategy.
Part of this strategy is leveraging the power of the Journal and other Dow Jones brands through extensions such as the "Greater New York" section and the WSJ. glossy magazine. Dow Jones said the New York section has attracted 80 new advertisers, while WSJ. has brought in 100.
|No. 1 Wall Street Journal/ wsj.com
Phone: (212) 597-5712
Circulation: 2.1 million*** Traffic: 30 million UMV†††
Ad revenue (print): N/A
Ad revenue (online): N/A
Ad rate (print): $297,413 for 1 page 4/C (national); $345,663 (global)
Ad rate (online): N/A
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Even though it is one of the few broad media properties to charge for online access, its website, which offers some free content, boosted its monthly unique visitors 17%, to 25.6 million, between December 2009 and December 2010.
The Journal was also one of the first media titles to introduce an iPad app, shortly after the tablet debuted last year. The app has already had 1 million downloads and, late last year, the Journal unveiled an Android app.
The brand has also successfully expanded its in-person events. The All Things Digital franchise will host its first Asian conference in Hong Kong this year. It is also launching The Wall Street Journal CFO Network, which will host a conference in Washington, D.C., this June.
Ted Kohnen, VP-interactive marketing at Stein Rogan+Partners, said one of the agency's clients, Towers Watson, a business consultancy, co-hosted a reception with the Journal at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last year. The event, following the merger of Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt, supported the blended firm's debut.
Kohnen marveled at the ability of the Journal brand to pack the room with influential executives. "It performed very well," he said of the event.
Under News Corp.'s ownership, Dow Jones and the Journal appear to have no plans to slow down the extension of their brands, which are likely to expand even further in 2012. That's when the Journal's content agreement with CNBC expires and when most observers anticipate that the brand will become more closely aligned with News Corp.'s Fox Business.
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