Friday, April 26, 2013

WSJ Extracting More Economic Value from Digital Subscribers...Again

The Wall Street Journal has always been the best at monetizing its publication online. And they continue to demonstrate their pricing power as the #1 newspaper in the US.

This month, my digital subscription to the WSJ went up yet again! This is my third price increase over 17 months. I previously blogged about my last price increase. While this latest price increase is relatively small, going from $21.62 per month to $21.99, it's the cumulative trend that amazes me.

When you compare the price increase to other benchmarks, it's quite astounding.

From the chart above, I've plotted how much my digital Wall Street Journal monthly subscription has gone up, relative to how much the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the average price of a regular gallon of gas in San Francisco, and the Consumer Price Index - Urban has changed.

As you can see, the WSJ went up 47% from December 2011 to the present day. Meanwhile, the price of gas has gone up as high as 28% and then down to 12%. The Dow had a good 2012 and a strong 2013 start. Yet, even the market has not gone up half as much as the WSJ with 20% growth in the past 17 months. Meanwhile, inflation has been in check while the economy recovers. So it's no surprise its 3% increase was no match for the pricing power of the WSJ.

So does it make me feel better charting how much the WSJ has me locked into their publication paying such high prices? No, not really. As long as they keep putting out an awesome paper, it's worth it.


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