More on Murdoch/

This showed up in my email inbox today:

Some (TSCM, Strong Buy rated) investors have expressed concern about the possibility that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWS, not rated) could decided to make the site completely free-of-charge (today it’s primarily a paid subscription service) ever since News Corp acquired the’s parent Dow Jones last year. However, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, yesterday Murdoch said “The really special things [at] will still be a subscription service, and, sorry to tell you, probably more expensive.” From a competitive perspective, this should be viewed as a positive datapoint for TSCM shareholders. We note that the has just over 5MM monthly unique visitors to its site vs over 6MM at

Mark May
Principal, Equity Research
Needham & Company LLC

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Austin

    Fred,You love talking about how sites like the WSJ and should be free, and I would love to see your thoughts on these few questions hat really keep them from moving in that direction;1). What kind of a transition would they endure in doing so. (Would they have to alter their products?)2). How many more visitors would they have to gain in order to break even from the transition. ~How long would that take?I think everyone can see the value in going completely free,~Scaling the number of unique visitors is easier, when they can view a page for free!~This trend is undeniable and people will have to face that ultimately, for all information is moving in that direction.

    1. fredwilson

      Clealry there is a short term hit to revenues and maybe that is what is driving murdoch to adopt a hybrid strategy.Its possible that they will slowly let the wsj go free so that they can better manage the transitionAnd maybe they feel they have to do that to justify the price they paidI am in favor of taking the hit upfront, selling investors on the long term vision, and then getting to the new business model with energy and enthusiasmFred

  2. Andy Swan

    TSCM up 10% since the WSJ decision. Good article!