The Wall Street Journal, one of the last major U.S. newspapers that still charges for online access to its content, may soon go free. According to News Co. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, who has signed an agreement to acquire the Journal's parent company Dow Jones & Company, he plans to make access to WSJ.com free.
Speaking at a shareholders meeting in Australia on Tuesday, Murdoch said, "We are studying it and we expect to make that free." As a result, Murdoch anticipated having 10 to 15 million worldwide subscribers as opposed to the current 1 million.
In related news yesterday the WSJ.com site became populated with social-bookmarking site Digg buttons. According to a blog post by Digg founder Kevin Rose, the Journal will allow its users to submit WSJ.com articles to Digg and Digg users will also have free access to any WSJ.com article submitted to the service.
In September, the New York Times ceased its TimesSelect service, which previously cost subscribers $49.95 a year.The Wall Street Journal currently charges $79 a year for its online edition.