Pay Walls: What Others Can Learn From WSJ

journal logo 3.pngAs Rupert Murdoch prepares to bring pay walls to all his News Corp. brands, he’ll likely be looking to his own Wall Street Journal for guidance. Other pubs will probably be looking at the Journal, too. So we went to the source. We asked Dow Jones’ public relations manager Emily Edmonds what makes the Journal‘s pay model so successful?

“We’ve always found that if we focus on giving our users unique value they will want to pay for it,” Edmonds said, repeating the phrase we’ve heard often in regards to paid content: “unique value.”

“The Journal has always provided its users with high quality content that can’t be found anywhere else,” she continued. “Often it is actionable regarding our users’ business and their life.”

So, the key to getting readers to pay is to offer something unique that they need to read. Got it.

And how does WSJ decide what goes behind the pay wall? Explains Edmonds, “The Journal‘s editors place core financial and business news behind the pay wall and keep general news and lifestyle content, plus videos and real time commentary, accessible to all.”

We were also curious about the recently launched Wall Street Journal Professional Edition, which offers subscribers customized content from the Journal, Dow Jones newswires and the Dow Jones-owned news database Factiva — for up to $49 a month. Does WSJ have any similar pay models in the works?

“We are always thinking about premium products and looking for ways to expand the brand,” Edmonds said cryptically. That seems like publicist-speak for “we’re not telling.” Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Previously: WSJ Tries New Pay Model Targets To Professionals