Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has big plans for the Wall Street Journal once the $5 billion deal is finalized this year. Murdoch says he'll likely make WSJ.com free. Previously, all articles were offered only to subscribers. The Wall Street Journal would join some other large newspaper holdings to offer their archives for free online.
This is significant for a paper that boasts the largest online subscriber base in the news industry (980,000 as of this year). In support of a free-based system, rather than a fee-based subscription, each page view on WSJ.com generates four times the ad revenue as the New York Times (which went free recently as well). Online subscriptions cost $99 a year. Murdoch believes that he can turn 980,000 into 10 million subscribers worldwide if the service is offered for free.
Wall Street Journal image by kevindooley [cc, 2.0]