Over the past decade, the rise and rise of the Internet has seen traditional newspapers scrambling to go online lest they go the way of the dodo – or the Rocky Mountain News. Unfortunately for the publishers, the public became accustomed to getting this online content for free and publishers faced the difficult task of converting readers to a more sustainable subscription model. The increasing popularity of tablets such as the iPad is changing the newspaper landscape yet again and media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is now reportedly teaming up with Apple to develop a tablet-only publication exclusively for the iPad and other tablet devices.
Possibly looking to avoid the difficulty of weaning readers off free content that he faced with publications such as the Wall Street Journal Online, News Corp’s new venture, called The Daily, will be available only via subscription right off the bat.
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Murdoch told Fox Business The Daily will launch in beta mode around Christmas before being introduced to the public early next year. With no printing or distribution costs it is expected to cost US$0.99 a week, or about $4.25 a month and will come out seven days a week.
The Guardian says that Apple has been working with News Corp. on the project and that, even though iOS 4.2 went public just yesterday, it is already aiming at a mid-December release for iOS 4.3 that will enable the publication to be dispatched automatically to an iPad. There is also speculation the update would usher in recurring subscriptions for apps through iTunes and that Steve Jobs would join Murdoch on stage at a press event to launch the publication.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, Jesse Angelo, formerly the managing editor of The New York Post, is working full-time on the project, which is expected to eventually comprise a newsroom of around 100 staffers. As well as traditional print journalists, The Daily will also concentrate on producing video content, as evidenced by the choice of Steve Alperin, a producer at ABC News, as one of the three managing editors.
Angelo reportedly wants The Daily to have a tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence, while Murdoch told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that the new publication would be a bit like The New York Post, with a similar attitude and element of humor, only national. There will also be no foreign bureaus, and there aren’t even plans for a D.C. bureau at the moment. Murdoch did say that the publication would campaign on many issues, nominating U.S. education as one of the first topics.
Murdoch also told the AFR that he initially wanted to call the publication The Daily Planet but that DC comics wasn’t amused.