Dow Jones's Robert Thomson: 30m Unique Visitors to This Month

Includes: NWS, NYT
by: Mick Weinstein

Robert Thomson, Editor-in-Chief of Dow Jones & Company (NASDAQ:NWS) and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal is speaking this morning at the Future of Business Media conference in NYC.

Here are Thomson's statements from the session, which is a Q&A - this is a live blog, and will be updated:

- new/old media distinction is in many ways false; there were visionaries 10-15 years ago who are now applying their insight
- 30 million unique visitors this month at
- large portion of content is non-monetizable; other premium content was never really considered internally to go free
- Q: Are you concerned you'll lose momentum on premium now? Thomson: our online ad revenues are growing by double digits; we're even seeing growth in print; for high end business news there's still a lot of demand - the qualitative element becomes more important
- New York Times competition: we're twice the size of NYT; opportunity in international coverage, general coverage to win readership from the Times
- changes to since NWS takeover:  'the vast majority of biz readers find it easier to navigate the page now' ; it's important to distinguish between a 'real business reader' who actually uses our product vs. media studies professors who like to criticize us
 - Q: 2 main assumptions when Murdoch made the deal were (1) going free on (2) WSJ would make movement to a general newspaper like the Times. Were these two assumptions just proven wrong? Thomson: There was an internal debate re. going free and 'frankly we reached the right conclusion'. Regarding the Times, we're finding that more and more people across the nation are buying the Journal for general coverage.
- We've greatly expanded our coverage, and 'you can never stop working for cost efficiencies'

- WSJ editorial page: Charging for commentary is very difficult or impossible... commentary has become commoditized. The problem with assessing content is that readers distinguish what content they want and attach value to it... opinion just doesn't have enough value to charge for it.

- Q from Jeff Jarvis on ad market difficulties. Thomson: You'll see more financial institution advertisers interested in showing they have an important role in the changing financial world. In the longer term, we're realizing the global nature of media... there's even more interest in American business news now (internationally).