There has been lots of talk about Rupert Murdoch’s latest launch – the iPad-only The Daily newspaper. There has been talk about the $30M they’ve already invested in the production of the application, the $2M/month burn rate to maintain the application, create the content and publish it daily, the revenue model ($0.99/week plus in app advertising) and many more criticisms pile in every second.
I took a look at it – first the US version and now the “Canadian” version over the past couple of days and what I’ve seen is, at times brilliant and frustrating. First of all, as an application on the iPad this thing is beautiful. The curated imagery, videos and supporting graphs/tables/touches are pretty impressive. The app is beautiful but the usability needs some work – only because there are almost too many options to find content and I end up missing out on some pretty great features as a result. Overall, I really like what I’ve seen and think it to be a great start in need of improvements over time.
I don’t really like focusing on the actual app so that is my review. Would I buy it? Sure. I lose $4/month in my couch.
That brings us to the real question we should be answering – what is the impact of this application and what Murdoch is doing with it on the rest of the publishing industry. Will The Daily put a dent in traditional newspapers? Will it force other publishers to move away from the “lazy” RSS-driven drivel we’ve seen from the New York Times or Wall Street Journal?
What The Daily seems to have done is raise the bar for news publishers. This is a risky move – an entire team devoted to a digital publication with an estimated first-year price tag of over $50 million seems like a large investment but if you are protecting your business, maybe even the future of your business, doesn’t seem so much to me.
What do you think?