‘WSJ’ Daily Circ Inches Up in Coming FAS-FAX

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By: Jennifer Saba

The Wall Street Journal is expected to report that total daily circulation nudged into positive gain territory when the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases its spring circulation numbers at the end of April.

Daily circulation grew 0.6% to 2,062,000 for the six-month period ending March 2007. (The preliminary numbers are subject to audit). Individually paid circulation rose 3%.

Those figures include the online edition of the Journal. But taking only daily print into account, circulation inched up 0.5% to 1,722,000.

Meanwhile over the past year, the Journal has been aggressively marketing both its print and online products in bundled package tying the two products together for as low as $99.

To reflect the new strategy, the Journal is now reporting how many people subscribe to both editions on a quarterly basis.

The change in reporting is internal and in some ways similar to how The New York Times breaks out TimesSelect numbers, giving the total number of subscribers, online-only subscribers and those who get TimesSelect through home delivered subscriptions.

Previously the Journal reported online-only subscribers.

The Journal’s new methodology reflects a 20% gain in online circulation for Q1 to 931,000 online subscribers compared with Q1 2006 in adjusted numbers. If those bundled subscribers were not included in the data, the number of paid subscribers reaches 830,000 or a 9% increase.

“We wanted to be very transparent,” said Kelly Leach, vice president of business management for the Journal franchise. “It does accurately reflect paying subscribers that have access to the product. It’s important to point out the bundles because they are a significant component of growth.”

This does not affect how ABC tracks circulation. The organization counts online subscribers under the electronic editions heading. Subscribers who receive the print and online products are tallied in the overall number.

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