So far, the iPad has not done much to save the newspaper industry from itself, but according to the latest reports, News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch is not giving up and plans to launch his much-rumored iPad-only paper The Daily on January 19.
It remains to be seen if an old-style newspaper on the iPad will be able to make a significant impact on News Corp.’s bottom line. While details about the publication remain sparse, it currently seems as if the plan is to update the paper once per day – just like that newspaper you unsubscribed from years ago.
Dead on Arrival?
This slow update cycle is, of course, one of the main reasons why regular papers have lost so many readers over the last few years and I just can’t imagine that readers will flock to The Daily and subscribe (even at the low – rumored – price of $1 per week). There are plenty of news alternatives on the iPad right now, including excellent apps from the traditional newspapers like NYTimes (now that it doesn’t crash anymore), aggregators like the Huffington Post and web-only publications like Slate. Murdoch’s old-fashioned approach is the antithesis of what readers expect from a modern publication today.
Because of this, chances are that The Daily won’t be able to do much stand out from the competition (except, maybe, through in-depth features and smart investigative reporting). One area where it could stand out is in its design. So far, newspaper apps on the iPad and other tablets reproduce the traditional newspaper experience nicely, but we haven’t seen a lot of innovation on this front yet. In December, MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka reported that The Daily will feature “some kind of 3-D effect that lots of people are very excited about,” so there is some hope that the app will at least feature an innovative design.
What do You Think?
What do you think? Will The Daily be a massive success? Or will you stay away from it and read a paper that’s updated throughout the day?
Tips of the hat to MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka, by the way, who was the first to pinpoint the week of January 17 as The Daily’s launch window.