Korean and Indonesian join growing list of WSJ.com's local-language websites
By Matthew Schwartz
WSJ.com, the online companion to The Wall Street Journal, has been moving aggressively to expand its global footprint by launching local-language websites.
The latest examples: An Indonesian-language website and BlackBerry app, which rolled out earlier this month, and a local-language edition in Korea that debuted in October and has quickly racked up about 10 million page views and 5.5 million unique monthly visitors.
Including the Korean and Indonesian versions, there are now 11 WSJ.com websites in eight languages. The others are English, Chinese, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. International traffic has increased from 15% of WSJ.com's total traffic in 2008 to 35% this year.
WSJ.com has put special emphasis on Asia in its effort to penetrate international markets and repurpose its online content into different languages.
WSJ.com's Chinese and Japanese editions, introduced in 2002 and 2009, respectively, garner more than 33 million page views a month. Their local-language smartphone and tablet apps have been downloaded more than 1 million times. The Asian Wall Street Journal, based in Hong Kong, debuted in 1976.
“We've had a very strong regional presence in both print and online,” said Dan Molloy, global executive director-multimedia sales, Asia-Pacific for Dow Jones & Co., which publishes WSJ.com. Dow Jones is part of News Corp.
“Our strategy now is to go deeper in the key economic markets to really offer a broader content offering to reach a wider business audience in those markets.”
South Korea, which offers an established marketplace and digital-savvy population, and Indonesia, with a fast-emerging middle class and steadily growing economy, present ample opportunities to extend the Journal's brand and attract additional revenue from global advertisers, Molloy said.
“We're able to maintain an umbrella platform [in English], tapping into global and regional budgets, but also we're going deeper into those key markets—Indonesia, Japan, China, Korea—picking out domestic advertising budgets by offering a very targeted niche audience in those individual markets,” he said.
The content for the Asian sites is a blend of local coverage, stories generated through the Journal's global network of 2,000 journalists and information from Dow Jones Newswires. The Journal has news bureaus in Jakarta, Indonesia and South Korea.
The new WSJ.com websites in Indonesia and Korea will be promoted through their sibling sites. Molloy said he is also working with local media companies in the region to develop content syndication partnerships and email marketing campaigns.
“The launch of the websites in Indonesia and Korea probably marks a point where we feel that we have the majority of those main markets covered now in Asia-Pacific,” he said. “But I know, globally, we're looking at other key markets—for example, in South America and Europe.”