Dollars and sense
Sites like TheStreet.com and the Wall Street Journal are slowly but surely shifting more of their content to a free, ad-supported model, reports ClickZ.
The move away from subscription revenue, the sites' bread-and-butter up until now, comes as web distribution increasingly favors free content. Ad revenue is also seen as more reliable than a subscription-based model.
As their focus shifts to advertising, both sites are also altering the tone of their news coverage. The WSJ in particular has expanded its range of topics beyond just business and financial news to stories with a more customer- and blogger-friendly focus.
Analysts point to subscription requirements as something that keeps away readers, whose eyeballs could be sold to advertisers. The WSJ says a hybrid model would protect it to some extent against ad-spending downturns.
Last month The New York Times removed the subscription model from its online TimesSelect offering.