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. ®