WSJ to Shore Up Paywall

Publishers often want it both ways when it comes to subscriptions. They want the extra revenue source from paywalls, but they want the traffic that comes from social media and search referrals.

The Wall Street Journal is working to plug one nifty way around its subscription requirement. The News Corp. property is working with Google to pull an app made for the Google Chrome browser. The “Read WSJ” app gives people an easy way around WSJ’s paywall by taking advantage of the WSJ, allowing visitors arriving via Google News access to its articles. Through the app, users can click on a headline of a story behind the paywall where they are then redirected to a search on Google News for the exact headline. There thay can click on the headline and finally see the story. It all takes only a couple seconds.

That should end soon, according to WSJ rep Ashley Huston, who called the app a “blatant exploitation” of the Journal’s sampling program, which lets users get five articles per month free via Google. The app isn’t widely used, with Google showing less than 4,000 users.

The Journal might go farther, however. Huston said it is mulling cutting back on the number of free stories through Google News from its current five per day.

The WSJ isn’t alone. There are several ways around The New York Times digital subscription plan. One of the easiest ways is a browser application called “NYClean” that eradicates the subscribers-only message that pops up over articles. The Times tolerates the application for now.

More in Media

Publishers test new TikTok feature that adds links to organic videos

Publishers are testing a TikTok feature that adds links to organic videos, and hoping it can help drive traffic to their sites.

Digiday+ Research: Publishers take their focus off events as revenue dips

The percentage of publishers making money from events hit a low as of the first quarter of this year and, as a result, fewer publishers plan on putting a focus on growing that part of their business.

What platforms, brands and agencies hope to get out of the Possible conference in year 2

Year two of Possible is once again being held in Miami Beach, and it will take place from April 15-17 with 3,000 attendees expected to listen to another 200 or so speakers, including Snap’s Colleen DeCourcy, Uber Ads’ Megan Ramm and UM Worldwide’s Matthew Smith.