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Murdoch to charge people for accessing WSJ on mobiles

LONDON - Rupert Murdoch has edged closer towards introducing paywalls on his websites with the announcement that he will soon begin charging people to read the Wall Street Journal on mobile phones.

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Murdoch announced the move at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York and revealed he would start charging for mobile access "in one to two months".

Under the plan, people who do not subscribe to the Journal would pay $2 a week for mobile access, while those with subscriptions would pay $1 per week.

Subscribers to both the print and online version of the paper will get mobile access for free.

Murdoch has been talking for some months of his plans to generate more revenue from online content which is currently accessed for free, pledging to charge for access to all News Corporation's online properties from next year.

Earlier this month, Murdoch's newspaper division News International said it would close free commuter newspaper thelondonpaper.

Those who champion the idea of charging for online news often cite The Wall Street Journal as an example of one the few US newspapers that has successfully charged for access to news on the internet.

Murdoch said at the Goldman Sachs event that the environment for advertising is "very much better" than three or four months ago.

He also revealed that the company was mulling options such as subscriptions and pay-per-view for Hulu, the currently free advertising-supported service allowing people to watch TV shows and movies online.

Owned by News Corporation, NBC Universal and Disney, Hulu launched in the US in March 2008 and is hoping to launch in the UK soon.

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