The Wall Street Journal today announced that it will begin charging for mobile access to its news content as of October 24th. While mobile applications such as the WSJ's iPhone application [App Store] will remain free of charge and will offer free access to selected content, full access will require a weekly subscription fee.
Beginning Oct. 24, the WSJ Mobile Reader application, currently available on BlackBerry smartphones and Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices, will require a separate mobile subscription for full access to Journal subscription content. The application itself will remain free to download and contain both free and subscription content, emulating the experience found on WSJ.com.
Users who currently subscribe to both the print and online versions of The Wall Street Journal will continue to have free access to mobile content, but other users will be required to pay fees in order to access the majority of content. Users with either an existing online or print subscription to The Wall Street Journal will be required to pay $1.00 per week for mobile access, while those with no other subscriptions will be charged $2.00 per week. Users who register prior to the October 24th launch will receive a 90-day extension of no-fee access.
In addition to the new subscription offering, several new features will be added to the WSJ Mobile Reader, including advanced save and share functions, enhanced market data, stock tracking and personalization capabilities.
"Our new mobile subscription model will enable us to continue to invest in the world's most essential news content and deliver it to our subscribers wherever and whenever they want it," said Gordon McLeod, president of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. "This transition also reinforces the value of our content on mobile, just as we've done online for more than a decade."