The Wall Street Journal is plugging leaks to its paywall. In addition to experimenting with closing the loophole that lets you copy and paste the headline into Google search for free access, the Journal has also plugged another crack in its wall, Instapaper.
The bookmarking tool lets you save stripped-down versions of articles in your browser or phone to read them later. It’s also been known to a few as a way to save Journal articles in their entirety. The Journal ironically, published an article last year on save-for-later apps saying that if you hit “save” while on the full article, you can save the entire text. Now, when you save Journal articles to Instapaper, though, you only get an excerpt, not the full article.
A Journal rep confirmed it’s been experimenting with a number of different trials to get people to subscribe but wouldn’t elaborate.
As the biggest paywalled publisher, the Journal has been aggressive in trying to protect and grow its subscription revenue, which is core to its business model.
All paywalled publishers have to manage a balancing act between maximizing subscriber revenue and taking advantage of the open Web and social media platforms to expose their content to new audiences. The New York Times, for example, makes it possible to read articles if they’re shared through social media. The bet is that what’s forgone in subscriber revenue can be made up for in advertising. The Journal just seems to be betting on the latter now.