I get both the printed and online versions of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) through my office.
But in the past, I have personally subscribed to it because I found it to be of good quality and value. I also subscribe to the online version of The Economist .
The fact that Rupert Murdoch has indicated he might free up WSJ.com from subscription fees (in order to increase traffic and therefore advertising revenue) raises two key questions.
Firstly, how will this affect other fee-based sites like Economist.com and FT.com (Financial Times' Web site)?
WSJ.com is very much the benchmark for fee-based sites and if it goes free, the others might be pressured to go free, too.
Secondly, how will this affect take-up rate of WSJ.com's subscription service today? If you knew that the site is likely to go free sometime in the near future, would you pay for a yearly subscription today?
If it goes free, will you be refunded? How would the refund be done? There are a host of questions that come out from this possible move.
Whatever it is, the trend is definitely toward an ads-based, free-access model.
It's worth noting that recently NYT.com (New York Times) and Time.com (Time magazine) have both reverted back to the completely free model.