WSJ Plans Micro-Payments for Web Access
News Corp. paper will charge for individual articles
By Jason Farago, Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2009 6:31 AM CDT
'Wall Street Journal' editor-in-chief Robert Thomson.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – The Wall Street Journal will introduce a system of micro-payments for access to articles on its website, becoming the first newspaper to charge readers for individual stories. The service will target casual users unlikely to pay more than $100 for an annual online subscription, editor-in-chief Robert Thomson told the Financial Times. The price of an article hasn't yet been set, but Thomson said it would be "rightfully high."

Thomson's announcement of a micro-payments system follows earlier statements by owner Rupert Murdoch that his papers would begin charging for online access. Since his acquisition of the Journal the price of the print edition has increased 21%, while advertising has fallen by a third in the first quarter of 2009 alone.

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May 11, 2009 10:11 AM CDT
As long as there are other sources for the same or similar information, this model will not prevail. And if there are no current sources, one will emerge with a business model that won't require payment for access.