The Daily’s losses cast shadow over iPad publishing

The iPad-only Daily, originally hoped to be News Corp.’s digital future, is now on probation, facing an estimated loss at around US$30 million a year, The New York Times reported..

Launched in 2011 and with the consultation of Steve Jobs, the Daily is expected to “take the best of the traditional journalism – competitive, shoe leather reporting, good editing, a skeptical eye – and combine it with the best of contemporary technology,” said Rupert Murdoch, according to the Guardian.

The reality, according to media analyst Frédéric Filloux, is that the Daily never took off. The number of 100,000 subscriptions that was released on February was only one-fifth of the necessary amount to break even, and “totally out of step with the growth of the iPad installed base,” he pointed out.

And the prediction that the publication would “redefine the news,” as Eddy Cue, senior vice president of the Internet software and services at Apple, said at the Daily’s introduction last year, quoted by the New York Times, seems also an illusion.

“Something’s wrong with the Daily’s concept,” Filloux commented. “It’s a sophisticated container for commodity news – ie the news that you can get everywhere, in real time and for free.”

The Daily’s subscription rates are 99 cents a week or $39.99 ayear.

“I think the trouble with the Daily is not the iPad itself, but the fact that the content is locked behind a pay wall … That’s something that customers have proven reluctant to embrace, even with well-established brands such as the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times,” Nick Kolakowski, senior editor at technology website Slashdot commented, the International Business Times reported.

Besides this, the inherent competition between the iPad publication and the web (mobile) received little attention, Filloux noted. He compared a report on the Mitt Romney tax return controversy between the Daily and the Huffington Post. Audience responses differ significantly in the two news outlets, with 179 comments in the former vs. 28,464 in the latter.
Image: The Daily
This entry was posted in Digital content, iPad, media business, News Corp., Rupert Murdoch. Bookmark the permalink.

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