Apple and News Corp launched The Daily, an iPad-only newspaper, Feb. 2. A lot of attention will be focused on whether its model can succeed in a dynamic marketplace.
Apple and News Corp launched The Daily, an iPad-only
newspaper, Feb. 2 in New York City. Priced at 99 cents per week (and $39.99 per
year), the publication enters a complicated and dynamic media environment that
seems to take special pleasure in crushing upstarts.
The question is whether the iPad's popularity and News
Corp's production muscle can translate into an offering with marketplace
endurance. In addition to created-from-scratch news content, The Daily
offers built-in games, weather
updates, a customizable sports dashboard, interactive video and photos, and
stories read aloud.
"The Daily is a manifestation of what can be called the
Flipboard revolution. Flipboard, launched in 2010 and listed as an app of the
year for iPad, offers a blend of visually striking and relevant content with
significant social overlay," Allen Weiner, an analyst with Gartner, wrote
in a Feb. 2 posting on his corporate blog
. "Pilot season for Flipboard
newspapers has just begun. The New York Times, AOL and others will soon be out
with similar products. Is being first an advantage?"
a Nov. 9, 2010, interview with The
Australian Financial Review
, News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch suggested that
The Daily would need a circulation of around 800,000 readers to become
economically viable-a number he believed achievable in the context of the
iPad's sell-through rate. "By the end of the next year there will be 30-40
million iPads," he said at the time. "I believe every single person will
eventually have one, even children."
Indeed, iPad users apparently rely on their device to deliver
fresh news content, according to a recent survey by the Donald W. Reynolds
Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.
Around 84.4 percent of that survey's 1,600 participants said
they used their iPad to follow breaking news and current events, a bit behind
the 89.2 percent who said they used their PC for the same purpose. Some 70
percent said they relied on an iPhone as a news source.
"These findings are encouraging for newspaper publishers who
plan to begin charging for subscriptions on their iPad app editions early next
year," Roger Fidler, the Institute's program director for digital public and
research project leader, wrote in a Dec. 9 statement, "but our survey also
found a potential downside: iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print
subscriptions in 2011."
Contrary to some early reports that suggested The Daily
would attempt to segregate the entirety of its content from the Web or outside
world-a walled garden within the iPad's walled garden, say-users can apparently
share the newspaper's content via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.