Hold the front page for ETERNITY: Murdoch kills The Daily
Nobody wanted an iPad full of Rupert
Rupert Murdoch is closing The Daily, the world's first iPad-only newspaper, less than two years after its grand launch. The press baron's News Corp worked closely with Apple to develop the title, which went on sale in February 2011 some nine months after the iPad itself made its debut.
The original circulation target was 500,000 paid-for subscriptions - an ambitious goal as only seven US newspaper titles achieve that even with their digital subscriptions included. Only two US newspapers have digital subscriber bases over 200,000 - the Wall Street Journal with 794,594 and the New York Times with 896,532, according to auditors. Murdoch's digital-only title employed about 150 staff until 50 people were laid off in July.
These are the good bits, apparently
In a press release, the media group explained:
From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation. Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term.
More recently, editions of the The Daily for the Galaxy Tab and Facebook were produced. It didn't help.
A look at the highlights - see the screenshot above - or its blog indicates why it struggled: it had failed to find a voice. The affluent profile of iPad owners isn't an easy target with the formula that's known to work: the showbiz scuttlebutt and cellulite-chasing paparazzi shots flourishing in the right-hand column of the Daily Mail's website. What's left? Generic human interest stories, and they're not hard to find on the web for free. ®
"...could not find a large enough audience.."
I'm sure there is a large enough audience - what they mean is that they couldn't find a large enough audience who were prepared to pay for online news. Some business need a wake-up call, and need to realise that whilst the value of information about the public is on the increase (for ad-targetting for example), the value of information provided to the public (as far as what the public are prepared to pay) is dropping. Google and Facebook have already realised this, which is why their customers are the ad-agencies and not the public.
Re: Music Hall & Vaudeville
Physical newspapers are not silly at all. They require no batteries, no fancy expensive electronic gizmo to read, can be used as a crude umbrella when raining and the cat can shit on it when its been read. They are 'always on' and can be used to light fires to keep warm, beat children, clean windscreens effectively and mixed with water and some flour to produce a mouldable material, party hats, window blinds, padding for consignments and insulating fish and chips.
Try doing any of the above with your favourite tablet and see how silly *they* are.
SOooooOOoo many more to go...