Today Charlie came in (thankfully bearing the coffee pot) to let me know that Rupert Murdoch is, again, set to launch his iPad-only "thingy," The Daily. The original launch date for Murdoch's revolutionary (?) new news source was January 19th, and in anticipation of this Jeff Bercovici blogged for Forbes.com:
Mark your calendars, media nerds.
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011 is the day it all changes.
Maybe, indeed. In anticipation of the current launch date, Ian Paul wrote on PCWorld :
News Corp.'s much-anticipated iPad-only newspaper The Daily will officially launch Wednesday, February 2, during a press event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch will be on hand to announce his company's new venture along with Eddie Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet services.
It's not clear how much the tablet-based publication will cost, but it is expected The Daily will be offered at a subscription rate of $1 per week. The press event may also include an announcement about a rumored in-app subscription payment system for iOS devices.Interesting choice of site for the announcement, don't you think? The old cutting edge in style hosts the new.
From the same PCWorld article:
The Daily will reportedly feature original content by journalists from The New Yorker, AOL, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. The paper may also include work from News Corp.'s other properties such as Dow Jones, The New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
The Daily will reportedly include short, pithy articles similar to free commuter daily papers such as Metro and AM New York. So the big question is whether people will be willing to buy a . . . newspaper like The Daily when free competitors exist.
. . . But the iPad is not the Web. Users of Apple's tablet computer and other mobile devices have shown their willingness to pay for apps and content. Gartner recently predicted mobile app sales would top $15 billion in 2011, a 190 percent increase over 2010 numbers. But despite that rosy prediction for apps, some reports suggest iPad magazine sales have fallen in recent months by as much as 20 percent, according to WWD.
So it's not clear if The Daily will find an audience large enough among the world's nearly 15 million iPad owners to support News Corp's new venture. Then again at $1 a week, many people may sign up for the paper to give it a try for a limited time. It will then be up to The Daily to keep them coming back for more.
This is the first time in his long career that Rupert Murdoch will have built a news publication from scratch. All his other news sources have been bought in full flower. And interestingly, according to a November 28th article in New York magazine:
In stark contrast to those of Murdoch’s existing American papers, The Daily’s politics will be centrist and pragmatic—Bloombergian, if you prefer—according to people close to the project. It’s a worldview embodied by its editor, Jesse Angelo, say people close to him. “He’s a freethinker, not locked in a dogma,” one source says. The opinion section will feature a range of both conservative and liberal pundits, and there are plans to wage “campaigns” on issues like immigration, education reform, and climate change.So why do I think the journalistic paradigm just might be shifting because of this particular publication? It has to do with monetizing information e-delivery. No one's figured out how to do that. At least, no one's figured out how to do it very profitably.
That Rupert Murdoch is willing to build a publication which has no existence outside an iPad means to me that he's figured out something that may turn the old information delivery system we think of as "the news" into a pretzel.