Future of Murdoch’s iPad tablet The Daily hangs in the balance

The New York Observer is reporting that the future of News Corporation’s much hyped iPad only newspaper, The Daily, is hanging  in the balance.

The paper reports that The Daily has been put “on watch, according to a source and it will be reassessed after the November 6 US Presidential election.

The Daily, which is said to be losing $30m a year, faces an uncertain future after News Corp pumped  millions into its high profile January 2011 launch. We asked at the time how something that was said to have cost $30m to launch can make money? It appears the answer is now in.

Only weeks after it had gone live there were reports that its editor had told staff it had to find better stories. It did go on to sign up as many as 100,000 subscribers who were paying 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year, but it failed to meet the high expectations it was saddled with at launch.

A report by the New York Times says that News Corp has put the title was on probation as “the company reconsidered whether it could turn around losses that were estimated at roughly $30m a year”.

The launch of The Daily was seen by some as the chance to launch a new wave of titles as tablet only newspapers and magazines. However, since The Daily launched that isn’t quite what has happened.

Virgin for instance launched another high profile iPad only title called Project, but the title was short lived and ended  in a legal dispute. While many other publishes have launched iPad versions of existing magazines few iPad only titles have emerged.

The NY Times said that one person close to News Corp said “to expect several smaller ventures like The Daily to come under scrutiny in the coming weeks, as executives and consultants analyze how to best establish a healthy publishing arm”.

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    The Daily will go down in tech history as the preeminent example of a product launched by out-of-touch executives who were taken in by the hype around iPad hype.

    The launch of The Daily follows a familiar and cringe-worthy pattern that can be observed in many organisations. Middle-aged suits, desperate to be cool and “down with the kids”, unduly influenced by Apple’s impressive corporate marketing and propaganda operations, put too much faith in the iPad.

    “much hyped iPad only newspaper”

    Like most iPad news stories, The Daily was indeed over-hyped. The iPad its self is over-hyped. There is a critical mass of fanatical pro-Apple commentators willing to hype any Apple-related story. Thus, like everything else that gets hitched to the iPad hype bandwagon, The Daily benefited from a disproportionately high level of initial hype and exposure, but was very clearly always destined to fail.

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