The Wall Street Journal’s latest Fas-Fax report, coming out Monday shows that the paper increased its individually paid circulation while cutting down on other paid copies.
Individually paid circulation is up by 2.4% to more than 1.4 million, while other paid — including employee, hotel and third-party copies — dropped 16% to 229,534. In all, the paper’s average daily circulation, Monday to Friday, for the six months ending in September, has remained fairly flat.
“We’re excited about the growth in individually paid copies,” said Paul Bascobert, CMO, Dow Jones and Co. “That’s where our focus is and where our advertisers’ focus is, and we’re particularly excited to see that growth in a difficult market. It’s not an accident; it has been the focus of where our investments have been and where our time is spent.”
Bascobert said the subscriber base of any news organization should be judged by individual paid subscriptions.
“Other paid is generally viewed as lower-quality circulation, so if you have the resources and time, you will put them towards high value stuff,” he said. “It’s a reasonably explicit goal of our business and other papers to reduce the other paid category.”
Bascobert credits the company’s investment in existing products and product launches for the growth in individually paid circulation. At a time when many media companies are cutting back, the Journal has launched a new Web site and mobile reader and expanded its reporter base.
The greatest gains in individually paid circulation were on sales of discounted copies, purchased at more than 25% but less than 50% of the standard price. The newspaper saw a slight decrease in the number of copies sold at more than 50% of the standard price.
WSJ.com is also posting subscription gains. Since this time last year, subscriptions to the site have risen 7.4%, to more than 1 million.
“As we add the magazine and mobile readers and enhanced Web sites, I think people will continue to sample and see what a great value it is and continue to sign up,” Bascobert said.