Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch are, apparently, teaming up to produce The Daily – the first newspaper made specifically for the iPad.
The Daily will not exist on a website, it will not be available on news stands; it will only appear on your tablet computer.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. have been leading the way in iPad innovations, with Wall Street Journal, Sun and The Times, all having apps. The Times is famously hidden behind a paywall and subject to a subscription, something that has divided opinion of where interenet news is going. According to Clay Shirky, The Times is ”becoming a newsletter, an outlet supported by, and speaking to, a specific and relatively coherent and compact audience”, but Gifford Morely-Fletcher, claims Murdoch is right about some elements of the project – particularly B2B value.
News Corp. takes next step
News Corp. is now taking it’s knowledge off charging for apps to the next level. The New York Times claims The Daily will be a newspaper
“With an investment of $30 million and a staff of around 100, The Daily will be the first of a kind — a “newspaper” with rich media and photography built especially for the iPad”
The plan seems to be to to take the relatively successful elements of the various apps News Corp. has at it’s disposal and make something people will pay for in much greater numbers. With something in the range of 8.25 million iPads sold the potential to make money if you can make a marketable, saleable product is clearly there.
News Corp. has also clearly taken note of the sort of person that owns an iPad; young, culturally aware and equally balanced between male and female. If you want people with an iPad to pay for something you are producing, you better tailor it to the people reading things on the iPad. Sasha Frere-Jones has been hired from the New Yorker and Steve Alperin, a television producer, has been hired from ABC. The Los Angeles Times highlights that the rest of Murdoch’s empire will also be taped up for content:
“The Daily will incorporate some content from the rest of Murdoch’s media empire (Fox Sports will provide some video)”
Is it a newspaper?
What will be interesting is whether The Daily will be able to persuade people that it is better than what is available for free – the eternal problem for pay-for content. The project is being labelled as a newspaper, a commentary in Forbes points out how despite the lack of any printing presses the labelling of it as a newspaper suits well;
“There are ways in which the newspaper metaphor is apt: The Daily will, as its name implies, be published daily rather than updated continuously like a website or TV network, and it will have gossip and opinion sections.”
Jeff Bercovici does go on to point out how the potential is there for something a lot more exciting than your run-of-the-mill print issue newspaper,
“There will be plenty of video, and I keep hearing about “3D graphics” and “data visualizations.””
This is clearly going to be an interesting and innovative development, which News Corp. is backing with all it’s might. It has the potential to open the floodgates to a world of paid-for, iPad specific content.
If there is one person you want backing your bid to change the face of news on the iPad, it is Steve Jobs. Rupert Murdoch has been courting Apple in recent years, aware that delivering the content that his various media outlets generates is going to be key to the next generation of technology. According to WWD.com, Murdoch may feel the benefit of his relationship with the endorsement of Apple founder Steve Jobs when the paper launches:
”Several sources said Apple chief Steve Jobs and Murdoch have been in conversations about the project for a while. When the project is announced, don’t be surprised if you see Steve Jobs onstage with Rupert Murdoch, welcoming The Daily to the app world.”