reporting the won’t be subscription-free, but wait….

There seems to be a slight dis-connect between what Rupert Murdoch has said about the future of the subscription model of and what is currently reporting. Under the subject line, “Murdoch: Won’t Go Free,” Emily Steel blogs from Davos (it’s also a story behind the pay wall) the following quote from Murdoch: “‘We are going to greatly expand and improve the free part of the Wall Street Journal online, but there will still be a strong offering’ for subscribers, Mr. Murdoch said. ‘The really special things will still be a subscription service, and, sorry to tell you, probably more expensive.'”

So, wait. Did he say, “The Won’t Go Free”?

When I’ve blogged on this topic in the past, I have tried to be clear that it was (and is) my belief that the strategy Murdoch is telegraphing today — a blended one — would be the strategy they’d ultimately choose. I stated this precisely last August 4, when I wrote: “I predict we’ll see the doors flinging open on a major portion of the content soon. However, on certain sub-sets of highly-technical, business-critical data on the site, the cost of access will increase. In the end, the new owners will make lots more money.”

In other words, I predicted what Murdoch said today. They will greatly increase the free part of and charge more for business-critical, technical data. I’ll predict this today: the “greatly expanded and improved free part” of will look a lot like a free to most people who just read the news stories.

Related rexblog flashback: How to get an RSS feed with tons of ‘free’ stories on

Technorati Tags: