The Daily: New iPad news publication
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. launched on Wednesday a new iPad newspaper, The Daily, which provides subscribers with original news content and updates.
For the lowly price of $39.99 per year or 99 cents per week, customers receive a whopping 100 pages of news each day, written by 100 seasoned journalists, broken into sections and livened through HD-quality video, “360 degree” interactive photos, magazinelike layout, social networking options like embedded Twitter and more.
As a premium-cost news service, Murdoch hopes the product will launch his company to be the foremost in the digital newsstand of the future. Delivered each morning – yes, that’s right, it is full of yesterday’s news – it is ambitious in its coverage. It aims to appeal to the masses, with everything from the latest international news to juicy gossip.
“New times demand new journalism,” Murdoch said to The New York Times. But is this new journalism the one that will take off?
According to PC Magazine, the bottom of the screen contains a menu bar with the six main – and fairly typical – categories of content: News, Gossip, Opinion, Arts & Life, Apps & Games and Sports. Other features, reveal Gawker, include icons, bullet points and timeline items that can be expanded to display further information in small text bubbles, plus continual updates throughout the day, streaming news tickers and new info that “can break into the app any time we want.”
Add to that a table of contents, a shuffle button to land the viewer on unread pages, and stories represented by images that flicker by, and this application definitely offers elements others do not.
Murdoch reported to The New York Times that The Daily is geared toward the new consumers, who want – and expect – “content tailored to their specific interests to be available anytime, anywhere.”
These consumers, however, also are accustomed to free news. This begs the question: Will readers pay for news when there are so many no-cost options out there? News Corp. believes its success will be based on its quality journalism – and offering features subscribers can’t get elsewhere.
The reviews are reportedly mixed – including a nice one from Apple CEO Steve Jobs. One disadvantage is the slow pace. Receiving yesterday’s news today might not sit well with customers, Gawker pointed out. And the newspaper may be too general, attempting to cover everything, a lá the traditional newspaper. In addition, it is “walled off,” said Gawker: As an application, it has no incoming links, and possibly no outbound links, to the Internet. So no linking a favorite post to your next-door neighbor.
On the other hand, iPad use is exploding. Around 15 million iPads have already been sold, and some experts anticipate that iPad sales will reach $40 million next year. As one source remarked to the Guardian, a mere five percent of these consumers would mean two million readers for The Daily. This seems a train well worth jumping on.
Murdoch, who has invested heavily in this enterprise, having spent around $30 million in development, told CNET news, “Our ambitions are very big. Our costs are very low.”
As the publication is paper-free, inkless and doesn't need trucks, the amount of money needed to produce The Daily is more minimal than readers might expect, with estimates of $500,000 per week for the whole operation, The Los Angeles Times reported. So there is less pressure on The Daily’s bottom line.
But Murdoch is fighting the trends; circulation for many publications is declining and the New York Times iPad app, for example, is free. Critics have rightfully declared if you want to receive news on your iPad, you can visit a number of websites, downloaded directly to your iPad simply from the Internet.
This isn’t Murdoch’s first time stepping outside the boundaries and trying something new when it comes to monetizing digital content. Remember when News Corp introduced the paywall idea for targeted online newspapers?
For those interested in checking it out, you can get free trial of two weeks of The Daily, courtesy of Verizon. The company has not yet launched an international version.
So what do you think of The Daily? Will Rupert Murdoch's idea to monetize content via devices such as the iPad succeed? Are you inspired to purchase The Daily?