Media Strategies - WSJ.com: Leading the online pack

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Online business-media types hold up Dow Jones & Co.'s WSJ.com as the gold standard, a model for how interactive media can attract high-quality, loyal readers with personalized content and services-and then lure blue-chip advertisers to reach that audience.

"The Journal [online] leverages its brand and gives you detailed information that is very difficult to find yourself," said Allen Weiner, NetRatings' VP and principal analyst. "They built a premium service that has global reach."

It doesn't hurt to have a deep-pocketed parent like Dow Jones backing the enterprise. WSJ.com relaunched recently with improved navigation, a fresh interface and the ability for readers to customize a home page via MyJournal.com even while browsing the site. One goal of the redesign was to increase the time high-profile readers spend online.

"We want them to spend more time with us so they are exposed to more advertising," said Neil Budde, publisher, WSJ.com. For advertisers, WSJ.com now offers larger-format ads and an improved ability to target readers based on personalization. A news-by-industry feature lets advertisers target readers by their interests. Advertisers can also insert TV ads via streaming video into their online media buys.

WSJ.com has 625,000 paid subscribers and 4 million unique users each month, said Mike Henry, director of sales. A third of its paid subscribers also subscribe to the print Journal, whose circulation was 1.78 million for the six months ended Sept. 30.

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