WSJ Circulation: A Correction


was wrong about the WSJ’s circulation on Tuesday; I got confused by some

slightly misleading language in the New York Times. If and when goes

free, the newspaper will still have a huge circulation lead over all other US

newspapers bar USA Today. Here’s a chart I made, which should explain how things

really are:

The blue bar is total newspaper circulation, which is just over 2 million.

Of that, around 350,000 newspaper subscribers (the light blue part) also subscribe

to the website. (Interestingly, the vast bulk of newspaper subscribers do not

have access to the website.) The red bar is subscribers to the website who do

not take the newspaper.

If and when goes free, then, the red part of this chart will disappear.

But the people who presently subscribe to both the newspaper and

the website will still (one assumes) continue to subscribe to the newspaper,

which means that total newspaper circulation should stay more or less at the

2 million level.

To be sure, there will be some newspaper subscribers who decide that if all

the content of the newspaper is available online for free, there’s no point

in paying for the paper. So circulation is likely to fall a little. But not


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