Dow Jones looks set to swoop on the Financial Times UK readership with the announcement that it is launching a Wall Street Journal news app targeted at the City of London.
The WSJ City app will pull together stories from a number of Dow Jones publications including from the Times newspaper and The Wall Street Journal and compile them within the WSJ City app.
It will be free at lunch which is a surprising move given that it will feature content form subscription-based platforms such as the Times and the WSJ. The move is in contrast to Dow Jones' stance on promoting paid-for content however it mirrors Rupert Murdoch’s desire to take on the Financial Times.
Dow Jones chief executive, William Lewis, echoed this in saying "over time, we would like to occupy the territory the FT has ceded".
Murdoch has strengthened his position to take on the FT by appointing a number of its ex-journalists, including Lewis who undertook the chief executive role at Dow Jones 18 months ago. Other former FT journalists now running Murdoch’s empire include Robert Thomson who is now the Australian chief executive of News Corp and Gerard Baker, now the British editor of the WSJ.
The new approach may help the WSJ’s improve on its weak audience figures in Europe; the publication has struggled to cement a strong position outside the US with the paper’s European circulation falling to 66,291 in the six months to the end of June.
A marketing drive designed to turn around the low audience figures began last month when the WSJ was re-launched as a broadsheet in Europe and Asia after a decade as a tabloid. This continued with free copies of the newspaper being handed out at major transport links over the past week.
The WSJ City app will take a similar form to Dow Jones What’s news app which launched in August and will include ads after every four or five stories.