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?"
In 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."
For more, read the eWeek article: Apple, News Corp Launch iPad-Only Daily Newspaper.