Rupert Murdoch’s long-sought online-only newspaper, “The Daily,” made its debut Wednesday (2/2). The app for iPad became available on the Apple App Store at noon ET.
The Daily is being priced at 99 cents per week, or $39.99 per year. News Corporation says the publication will offer over 100 pages of original news content daily. That will include content not found in traditional newspapers, such as original video, interactive charts and 360-degree photos.
Subscribers will be able to send links to friends and associates on social networks, such as Facebook. If the recipient is not a subscriber they will be able to see that shared page, but not other content. That’s one way News Corporation is hoping to build consumer interest in subscribing.
Yes, there will be advertising as well. In a news conference for the launch, News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch insisted that the iPad-based publication will have appeal for advertisers. “I think they’ll find that they have a huge opportunity here that they haven’t had before. They can put an advertisement there of the highest quality look and an attachment that can turn it into a video. I guess we’ll be charging a premium for that,” he said.
So, why not go for an advertiser-supported, free-to-consumer model? “I think they’d pay a much lower rate per ad if it were free, than if it’s paid for [by subscribers]. They’ll realize that it’s something that people want and we’ll be able to tell them how many people have seen their ad – it won’t be just scattered out there. We feel this is better for advertisers and will draw a better class of advertiser at a better rate,” Murdoch said.
Asked about the cost structure of the publication, the CEO said “Our ambitions are big, but our costs are low.” He said development of The Daily cost $30 million, which has already been written off by News Corporation. Going forward, Murdoch said the operating cost will be less than a half million dollars per week.
Video on ‘The Daily’
RBR-TVBR observation: Will it work? That all depends on the content. The overwhelming majority of people will not pay for news. The minority who might will only do so if the content is truly unique and compelling. Creating truly unique and compelling content costs money. So, we wait to see if the math works.
We also have to remember the technology being used, iPad, which is not for everyone, yet. iPad has a unique consumer which may be unique to pay the 15 cents daily for the interactive content.