Posted: February 2011
“If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.”
On February 2nd, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch debuted the first edition of his iPad-only newspaper —The Daily. According to the press release, The Daily “gives readers everywhere the engaging experience of a magazine combined with the need-to-know content of a newspaper and the immediacy of the internet.”
The Daily features more than 100 pages of news, features, sports and puzzles each day, updates throughout the day as news demands, with 360 degree photography and HD video. It is impressive, if not for the content, then at least for its attempt to be a leader in an industry-wide evolution.
The history behind The Daily goes like this:
- Ruport Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, woke up one morning in July (2010) thinking that the future of journalism would be the tablet
- He tasked the Managing Editor of his New York Post, Jesse Angelo, to create a digital newspaper from scratch
- He invests 30 million dollars
- He hires 100 + employees
- Eight (8) months later the first issue is produced
Unlike some, I believe there will always be a place for newspapers and magazines. The consolidation of some publications, and the closing of others, in my opinion is Social Darwinism at work. As the economy improves (and it will) companies will start to advertise more, which in turn will energize the print industry. But, energizing the industry and finding areas of growth are two separate things. The introduction of media specifically designed for the tablet market in my opinion is a natural evolution and can deliver this growth.
In an interview, Ruport Murdoch said, “Our target audience is the more than 50 million Americans who are expected to own tablets in the next year or so … “. Although I cannot prove with facts, I would guess most of this market does not use a phone book, they check the weather on the web, and receive the majority of their information from online resources. With the introduction of The Daily, what Murdoch is stating “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.”
The Daily is subscription-based, 7-days-a-week newspaper and will cost $0.99 a week, or $39.99 a year for access. The Daily is clearly a work in progress. Will people pay? It is too early to tell. But I commend Murdoch in his attempt to lead an industry into the next generation.
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