Rupert Murdoch has announced plans to start charging mobile readers of the Wall Street Journal. Before the end of the year, people who access the WSJ on Blackberries and iPhones will pay US$2 per week. Mobile access to the journal would cost a dollar a week for subscribers to the newspaper.
At BuzzCity, we applaud moves by print media to mobilise their content. New applications meanwhile make it easier to package content for mobile devices and improvements in the handsets themselves - such as larger, clearer screens - make it much easier to read.
So what's still missing here ?
The announced plan merely entices exiting subscribers and does little to engage new users. Newspapers and other content producers need to engage mobile readers at a local level with niche content because readers want customised, local content.
We're not simply talking about weather reports and sports scores, but alerts for road closures, local restaurant deals, theatre listings, etc. Actionable information like this opens the way for local advertising and classifieds – which means more targeted results for advertisers, more relevant content for readers and happy users all around.