According to the Financial Times, this will make physical copies of the business and finance-oriented paper virtually extinct in Europe with copies absent from retailers, airport lounges and hotels.
Dedicated consumers who wish to grab hold of a copy may still be able to do so via a mail order subscription service however – although Journal bosses are still debating whether to allow even this minimal presence.
In Asia, matters aren’t quite so bleak as discussions are underway to form a potential print joint venture in order to maintain distribution, while in Rupert Murdoch’s home turf of Australia edited highlights remain available as inserts within the Australian.
In a statement Dow Jones, the News Corp division which owns the WSJ, said: “We are constantly examining the balance between print and digital at a time when we’re seeing sharp growth in customer demand for digital. Over the past year, WSJ digital subscriptions have more than doubled in Asia and they have grown by 48% in Europe.”
In common with other publishers, the Journal is battling to arrest continued falls in print advertising, which fell a further 20% in 2016, forcing it to shift attention from print toward digital distribution. This strategy is already bearing fruit with 118,000 digital subscriptions being added over the first quarter.