The Wall Street Journal officially revealed the details of its strategy to start charging for mobile applications today after News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch said the move was imminent earlier this week.
Effective Oct. 24, Wall Street Journal apps for the BlackBerry and iPhone will mimic the model currently used at WJS.com with a mix of free and paid content. There will be no cost to download the app but non-subscribers to the print and Web editions will have to pay to view some content.
Currently mobile applications for the Wall Street Journal are free, and there is no charge for viewing articles that might require payment on the Web site.
The Journal is launching a special promotion to attract more users to download the applications. Current mobile users and new users who register prior to Oct. 24 will receive a 90-day reprieve on the mobile subscription model.
A mobile-only subscription will cost $2 per week. WSJ.com-only subscribers will be charged $1 a week. Those who receive both the print and online editions will receive free access to the mobile content. Subscribers are billed on an annual basis.
“Our new mobile subscription model will enable us to continue to invest in the world’s most essential news content and deliver it to our subscribers wherever and whenever they want it,” Gordon McLeod, president of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, said in a statement. “This transition also reinforces the value of our content on mobile, just as we’ve done online for more than a decade.”
The Journal is also launching a similar subscription service with its mobile-optimized site.