In the continuing discussion on charging for online newspaper and unbundling the newspaper, the next question is what it would take for the WSJ to be free?
Current online subscribers: 1 million
Subscription revenue/subscriber (average) : $80/year
Lost subscription revenue: $80 million/year
Current page views: 20 million/month
Expected incremental growth in page views: 180 million/month (10 fold increase)
Required CPM (cost per mille) for WSJ to be indifferent between the two options: $37
This is more than twice that of sites with 200 million page views per month bring in. So unless the page views increase 20 fold to 400 million a month or WSJ’s differentiated unique readership can command a CPM of $37 or more, there is no reason to give it away for free.