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Saturday, April 3, 2010

The WSJ . . . Brought to You By Acura??

Ending the "Newspaper Blackout" (for a day)

Noted a curious, full-page ad in the bowels of the first section of today's (print) Wall Street Journal: the online edition of the paper is available, free, courtesy of Acura. Typically, non-subscribers can only see headlines followed by brief annotations.

(Note: per my earlier post, "Are Newspapers Stealing a Page From Banks' Playbook," my print copy continues to arrive daily, months past the end of my subscription.)

Acura's gambit recalls the days when a big, local advertiser would buy up the last bloc of unsold NFL tickets, officially rendering the game "sold out" -- and lifting the league's mandatory TV blackout in the home team's market.

Online vs. Print Media

What's curious about Acura's "ad buy" is that you have to be reading the print copy to realize the online version is free -- which sort of makes it a moot point.

The second curiosity has to do with the nature of online news, which regular consumers such as myself already know (I get about 99.9% of my news online, and have for years).

Namely, there really is no such thing as "today's paper."
Rather, articles are posted continually, 24/7, then slip in prominence as new articles supersede them.

So, yeah, articles from "today's" Journal are available unabridged, but they're intermingled with annotated articles that were posted before and after today's edition went to press.

I have no idea what Acura paid for its plug, but I doubt you'll see a repeat . . .

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