Wall Street Journal Plans to Charge iPhone, BlackBerry Readers

Rupert Murdoch
News Corp CEO
Rupert Murdoch

News Corp Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch plans for his company to begin charging iPhone and BlackBerry users to read content from The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Murdoch made the comments at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York, according to a Reuters report.

Until now, mobile users have been able to access the paper for free from their mobile devices, but Mr. Murdoch seeks to monetize this readership directly by charging a fee to access it. News Corp bought the Journal as part of its acquisition of Dow Jones in July of 2007.

Under the plan, non-subscribers would need to pay $2 per week to access the site, while subscribers to either print or online editions of the newspaper would have to pay $1 per week to access it. Subscribers to both the print and online editions would get mobile access for free.

PaidContent.org also reported that Mr. Murdoch did not look favorably on Amazon.com's Kindle, mainly due to the revenue sharing agreement between the two companies for Wall Street Journal and News Corp's other newspaper subscriptions.

Instead he prefers the deal with Sony on its upcoming 3G wireless eReader. "We'll be doing everything we can to drive that one, the mobile one," he said at the conference. That device is expected to ship in time for this year's holiday shopping season.