The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones are to launch an online venture called the Wall Street Journal Professional Edition, which is seen by some as a potential competitor to a service such as Bloomberg. It will combine the WSJ's website with Dow Jones's business-to-business news service and databases, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal Professional Edition will cost $49 a month, although businesses that buy subscriptions for multiple users will pay less for each, according to the Journal. It reported that the targeted users are businesses and individuals who need more specialised information than is available in a newspaper but might not prepared to pay for a service as costly as Dow Jones Newswires or Bloomberg L.P. As a comparison, Bloomberg Professional costs about $1,600 a month, and has been consistently adding to its offering in order to retain customers.
WSJ Professional will allow users to set up custom feeds of news and alerts for their preferred markets. Staci D. Kramer of PaidContent provided some more details about the service, quoting WSJ executive editor for online Alan Murray who told her that the site has "a significant editorial element" and that the site would make considerable use of Dow Jones-owned Factiva, offering access to Factiva's 17,000 sources. Six sections will be continuously edited, said Kramer: pharmaceuticals, healthcare, energy, media & marketing, telecommunications and technology.
Dow Jones will start to sell the service to corporate executives and other business professionals for use at work next month, according to the WSJ. It will be extended to a broader audience in January. It is presumably the sort of premium service that WSJ managing editor Robert Thomson spoke of to the Financial Times back in May. The WSJ seems to have also been considering launching a micropayment system as well as subscriptions to its online content. Its detailed financial focus makes it well-placed to fight against the proliferation of free news online.