The New York Times released their Times Select content from behind their subscription pay wall on September 19, 2007.
From Tech Crunch (shocked emphasis is mine):
According to comScore, it gained 7.5 million readers worldwide from the end of August through the end of October (November numbers are not out yet). That is a 64 percent jump (to a total of 19.4 million). Similarly worldwide monthly pageviews surged 52 percent in that time period to 181 million.
This is pretty convincing proof that people love free content. Hopefully we can put the final nail in the coffin of the online subscription as a viable business model.
It seems like the Wall Street Journal is following suite. I’d be willing to bet a paycheck that as soon as the Journal drops the subscription wall they will see an amazing spike in traffic. That spike in traffic should equate to big advertising dollars for the WSJ.
I’m betting their unique users will soar to at least double what they are today. The WSJ sales staff must be charging up their calculators for the influx of ad revenue. Should be a wild ride for them.