Wall Street Journal Goes ‘Pro’ with Premium Products

Last week the Wall Street Journal rolled out a new premium subscription service, called WSJ Pro, targeting professionals in specific industries the media outlet covers, starting with banking, says Politico Media.The Wall Street Journal debuted WSJ Pro Central Banking as its first in a premium suite of products offered with Dow Jones. The WSJ Pro Central Banking product is targeted at business leaders and corporations who need to stay ahead of global monetary policy news and analysis.

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        In a video introducing the product, editor-in-chief Gerard Baker says WSJ Pro offers news, insights and exclusive networking events, supported by Dow Jones data and the Wall Street Journal’s reporting. Individual memberships go for $2,000 the first year, and $2,400 per year thereafter, and include a full WSJ digital subscription.”Drive your business, career and investments with comprehensive news on global central banks, including Jon Hilsenrath’s Federal Reserve reporting. From email alerts to newsletters, from headlines to detailed analysis, watch stories unfold the instant they happen and stay updated on the major news developments throughout the day,” Baker says in the video.”Make informed business and investment decisions with unrivaled data on interest rates and monetary policy. Get ahead of market reactions, data and central bank decisions that influence policy. Gain a competitive edge with exclusive opportunities to network with industry leaders, and engage in question-and-answer sessions with newsmakers in person or on video,” Baker adds.Insider Take:This seems like an ambitious undertaking, but the Wall Street Journal has been making sweeping, strategic changes over the last several years. This is a bit out-of-the-box, but that’s likely a good thing. With Dow Jones data at its fingertips and access to exceptional financial experts and newsmakers, WSJ might well make a go of this venture.It certainly needs to, at least if parent company News Corp’s financials are any indication. In its 2015 year-end report for the fiscal year end June 30, 2015, the News and Information Services of News Corp took some big hits:

  • Decrease in revenue of $422 million, or 7%, over the prior year
  • Total segment advertising revenues declined 10%, due to a weak print advertising market and foreign currency fluctuations.
  • Circulation and subscription revenues dropped 4%.
  • Adjusted revenues declined 3%, year over year.
  • Overall operating loss of $78 million, compared to a $294 million profit over the prior year

Fortunately for News Corp, its other divisions – book publishing, digital real estate services, cable network programming and digital education – all saw increases, ranging from 2% for cable network programming to 53% for digital real estate services.To reverse the downward trend, the Wall Street Journal needs to continue evolving through the rearrangement of staff, newspaper redesigns, and expense cuts, and continuing to take some risks like launching premium products such as WSJ Pro. It can’t ignore its core products and loyal users though. It must maintain the quality readers have come to expect from the 126-year-old newspaper.~ Dana E. Neuts, Subscription Insider  

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