Now that Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) is one small part of the News Corp empire, its reported numbers are also, well, tiny. It News Corp's Q208 earnings today, little mention of DJ's number, though some more details were given in the earnings call. DJ contributed operating income of $24 million in Q208 (down from $37.9 million in the year-ago quarter when DJ was independent) and $45 million for News Corp's full fiscal year, net of $24 million and $47 million in acquisition related amortization, respectively.
On the conference call, Murdoch gushed about WSJ.com: "In the six months to the end of June, the audience of WSJ.com...rose 87.9 percent compared to the same period last year and we are just getting started. In fact, in July it was over 100 percent increase." Most of it can be explained by opening up more of its stories and index pages for free use, besides adding other features like blogs and video.
Also, he mentioned something more interesting: "Dow Jones is now developing a web-based delivery platform that will allow us to target customers far beyond the traditional institutional clients and will extend our reach around the world in partnership with Star, Sky, and MySpace." I am assuming that means an ad network across its various brands, though could also involved content integration.
On digital, he said that "more than half the profits already come from various digital efforts there, or digital delivered products, such as the newswires, Factiva, the indexes, and so on," though of course his definition of digital is a bit of a stretch.
On WSJ.com's subscribers, he said the numbers have crossed 1.1 million...though the pickup seems slower, considering it announced crossing the 1 million mark in November last year. He also hinted that the current subscription price could and would be increased, from $99 print+online or $79 online only per year.
By Rafat Ali