Wall Street Journal Online. The Wall Street Journal Online has over 646,000 paying subscribers. It features updated, in-depth coverage and analysis of business news drawn from more than 1,600 journalists working for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires around the globe. The Online Journal has enhanced the business of Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswire.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
The Wall Street Journal has over 646,000 paying Internet subscribers. Many believed the Wall Street Journal would fold with the popularity of the Internet, but this did not happened. Instead, it has increased the sales of the Wall Street Journal. "The Wall Street Journal has been published since 1889" (1998) It has always met the challenge of time and technology. Even before the explosive growth of the Internet, the WSJ was making its headway to create a powerful online news product. The history of the Wall Street Journal Online is one of interest comparing the steps and direction it has taken.
The History of Wall Street Journal
Dow Jones has strived on giving the businessman the news on business, financial news, and information. "In doing so, Dow Jones looks to leverage core competencies and traditional strength in business content, and our expertise in what we call the 'chemistry of publishing" (Steinbock 2000). Dow Jones has met changing technology changes for over 100 years. Dow Jones began with the understanding that it would have to change the Journal into the online world. "We began by thinking about what would make the Journal useful in the lives of business people and investors" (Steinbock 2000). They believed they had to supply value to customers or they would not survive. Various other companies have tried to obtain paid subscribers for their online news sites and have failed.
Dow Jones has been a symbol of power, respect, and trust. Although Dow Jones survived for over 110 years, many industry observers believed it would not survive the World Wide Web. The Wall Street Journal emerged after the Second Industrial Revolution as it met the rising financial markers and the new technological infrastructure of Manhattan. "Historically, Dow Jones has been a first mover in business and financial news and information" (Steinbock 2000).
This included handwritten bulletins of stocks to the bond trading news called the Customers' Afternoon Letter. With the electric ticker service in 1897, the company continued to grow with supplying the news by telegraph. As technology changed so did Dow Jones. They met every challenge from the rapidly changing world. "The Journal has made the 'three interrelated sets of investments in production, distribution, and the management required to achieve the competitive advantages of scale, scope, or both, inherent in the new and improved products and processes" (Steinbock 2000).
During the 1970's, it grew through the diversification of the products and expansion. Many companies did not survive this period. Then the 1980's the circulation climbed to over two million in 1983. Part of the reason for this growth was Dow Jones database efforts. Three years later they introduced Wall Street Journal Europe. During the years between 1985 and 1990 Dow Jones acquired Telerate, a real-time financial data network. Dow Jones added Smart Money, which is the Wall Street Journal Magazine of Personal Business. In 1996 Dow Jones introduced the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition. Next, came the Asia Business News in 1995. Approximately two-year later, Dow Jones started an alliance with NBC that was centered on CNBC. "It sought to offer U.S., Asian and European audiences the best available business news programming" (Steinbock 2000). All this brought new markets, new demographics, and new technologies. Wall Street Journal met all these changes. Dow Jones delivered a video of news coverage to business and financial customers' computers. However, this failed and caused a sizable loss in 1997.
During this time Dow Jones revenues composition changed. "In 1993, Dow Jones's revenues had amounted to $1,932 million, with 44% from information services, 43% from business publications, and 13% from community newspapers. After restructure and divestitures, Dow Jones, in 199, generated $2,002 million in revenues, with 66% from print publishing, 17% from electronic publishing, and 17% from community newspapers" (Steinbock 2000). This began a shift from information services to publishing services. This changed the advertising to circulation and a reduction in internationalization. The more that Dow Jones focused on circulation the more rapidly publishing was moving to electronic products. Sadly, Dow Jones stock languished. It was during this time that the Interactive Journal was being created and launched. Many believed that Dow Jones would be destroyed.
The Beginning of Wall Street Journal Online
Neil F. Budde taught himself how to do computer programming and the use of HTML on Boston's Logan Airport (Sacharow 1998). Some people laughed at the ideal that Budde could teach himself computer programming and make it work for an Interactive Journal. However, Budde became the veteran editor of the beginning Interactive Journal beginning in December 1993. "From the beginning, we wanted to create something people would pay for. It's always been part of our vision. We set out to create and independent product that would stand on its own," says Budde (Sacharow 1998). He would direct the design, development, and evolution of it. He would oversee the news, technical operations, and manage its relationship similar to how he had with the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones news media. According to Budde, "After all, we now had a medium that lent itself to timeliness, depths of information and provided the ease of linking from one piece of information to another. I started showing the prototypes around to people in the company. As I got feedback, more people were getting excited about the idea" (Steinbock 2000).
Budde's beginning concept was to use the Visual Basic as he designed the features and functions of the Interactive Journal. It would have robust data and information that would provide the global perspective of highly customized news and investment data. The concept was that it would be a tool of use. Even during the early invention days, the ideal was that people would pay for quality when they received an in depth and breadth of information. Putting the Interactive Journal on software would have taken them longer and the company might not have been able to survive. "Time was running out" (Steinbock 2000). The aggressive competitors might destroy The Wall Street Journal if something was not done quickly. Budde was working on a solution. The Internet was the best technology for delivering this product. The team of inventors was excited about the possibilities of using the Internet with the Interactive Journal. Budde says, "We couldn't help but notice the emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web....As we investigated a bit further, we realized that we should move our efforts over to the Internet" (Steinbock 2000). In the past Dow Jones had overcome the problems and kept up with the technology and it would continue to do so. Early in 1995, the team moved development to the Internet.
The earliest version of the Interactive Journal started with Money & Investing Update. This was an interactive version of the Journal's third section, free and advertising-driven. "With technology integration, the emphasis was on the upstream activities, including user feedback (e.g.... developer communities in beta testing, focus groups or internal employees in building online communities or product testing). Only with the launch of the product was this internal orientation displace with an external one" (Steinbock 2000).
Once the migration takes place then the integration is no longer the driving force. The product was free in the beginning. The Interactive Journal had to gain paying subscribers.
The Money & Investing Data was started in April 1996. This extended news coverage that would include politics, economics, marketing, sports, and weather. Marketing integration development needed to manage its interaction with the customer. "Marketing integration is driven by downstream processes (distribution, marketing, and sales service). With full product launch, the focus groups are displaced by the customer base, which provides continuous, real time, and interactive feedback. Through segmentation, user feedback is analyzed according to strategic objectives" (Steinbock 2000). The Wall Street Journal Online had a staff of more than 700 reporters and editors bringing together the combined assets of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal and the Asian Wall Journal. The staff from all of this would be able to bring news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week around the globe. Plus, the online investing news. However, the Wall Street Journal Online has different demographics than the Wall Street Journal. "Certainly, the Interactive Journal sought to extend the newspaper franchise into the market space, but online migration required far more than a simple brand extension" (Steinbock 2000). The wsj.com was more than the printed version bringing new products and services.
Dorothes Coccoli Palsho, president of business information services at Dow Jones, announced the new perspective of paying subscribers for the Online Journal. She states that it is a matter of…