Rolling out in February 2011, News Corporation’s The Daily launched as the world’s “first iPad-only newspaper” in the US, before finally landing in the UK App Store last September. But now, six months after laying off a third of its staff, The Daily will be shutting up shop.
The initiative was an interesting one for sure, as the media giant attempted to reimagine the newspaper for the digital age, but the fact that it put all its eggs in the tablet basket with no Web-based edition was always going to limit its uptake.
Indeed, it was this that ultimately led to its demise. While the writing was on the wall with the lay-offs earlier this year, in an announcement put out earlier today by Murdoch’s media company, it put the planned closure down to not being able to find a “large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable over the long-term.”
So from December 15, The Daily will be no more, but News Corp. was clearly keen to put a positive slant on this, saying it will take what it has learned and apply it to its other properties.
“The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation. Unfortunately, our experience was we couldn’t find a big enough audience, quickly enough, to convince us the business model was sustainable over the long-term. Therefore we will take the best of what we’ve learned at The Daily and apply it to our other properties. Under the editorial leadership of Editor-in-Chief Col Allan, and the business and digital leadership of Jesse, I know The New York Post will continue to grow and become stronger on the Web, mobile and, not least, the paper itself. I want to thank all of the journalists, digital and business professionals for the hard work they put into The Daily.”
As the announcement notes, The Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Jesse Angelo will now jump over to The New York Post as publisher.
While some may gloat at The Daily’s demise, I think most fair-minded people will acknowledge that the underlying efforts were commendable. It does, however, show that the might of a big media company doesn’t guarantee anything, with execution and well-targeted content the real important factors.
Indeed, while The Next Web is well-known for its Web-based technology publication, it also has an iPad offering that offers unique content separate to what appears on the main site. And we’re pleased to say that it’s going strong.