WSJ predicts 500,000 registrants

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The Wall Street Journal is close to 500,000 registrants for its Web site, said Business Director Tom Baker. The Wall Street Journal made a bold move in launching with a subscription product ($49 for non-print subscribers; $29 for print subscribers), and while some of those registrants will drop off when the site begins officially charging July 31 (those who signed up by May 31 use it for free till then) response has been better than expected, Mr. Baker said.

Another interesting factor: the foreign market. Mr. Baker said 10 to 15% of registrants are from other countries. The New York Times' Web site, which launched in January, chose a cautious stance on charging domestic users, but set pricing for international consumers at $35 per month.

Separately, The Wall Street Journal Europe said on Friday that it has signed up Barclays Bank as a charter advertiser for the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, which it launched on April 29. The WSJ's Web site is unusual in that it's among the first Web publishers to require all users to pay a subscription fee.

Barclays is the second European advertiser after Siemens to use the Web site. At the end of June IBM Europe will also advertise.

"The purpose of this campaign is to inform the North American business community of our ability to help them move into the U.K.," says Aiden Williamson, senior corporate manager with Barclays North America Corporate Team in London.

The ad goes beyond conventional hypertext advertising links with Barclays by supporting a self-contained interactive advertisement on its own server. The ad attempts to sustain reader curiosity by leading him through a series of interactive questions with a cockney `rhyming slang' theme. J. Walter Thompson created the ad.

For more international news, go to Ad Age's Daily World Wire on the Web.

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