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News Corp's The Daily Is Doomed

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the always-the-naysayers dept.

The Media 246

rsmiller510 writes "After all of the hype, it was surprising how much The Daily, the new News Corp. iPad daily newspaper, looks like a conventional news magazine. Ultimately, though, it's an old model in a new package and as such will fail."

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Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullets (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35091994)

Unfortunately for News Corp, as VentureBeat reports, it's already invested an astonishing $30 million just to launch this thing, and it will cost another $500,000 a week to keep it going. While Murdoch says the right things about taking the presses and the trucks out of the equation to produce a leaner operation, I'm left wondering how many subscribers and advertisers it will take to make the initial investment back, never mind make it profitable -- especially with Apple taking half of the subscription revenues.

News Corp has a quarterly revenue of around 8 billion dollars [google.com] but their net income has been steadily declining (duh). To risk a one time cost of thirty million followed by a weekly liability of half a million to save that hemorrhaging is a bit of non issue in my opinion. I think Murdoch could give up one of his twenty yachts and reduce his yacht insurance to offset that if he wanted to pay for The Daily out of pocket.

The Apple comment further mystifies me. While terrible that they should lose so much money to Apple, it does give Apple incentive to see this succeed since it's designed for their product. So consider first how amazing Apple is at promoting products and how terribly backward News Corp has been as of late. It might turn out to be a paltry sum to have Apple selling their product with interest of seeing it succeed.

Regardless, if I've learned one thing from Microsoft and their initial XBox and Zune attempts, it's that a very very wealthy company that wants to shove something down the consumer's maw will not let up until it has turned a profit. The problem is that News Corp has what, eight billion sitting around in cash? Let the blood letting begin with this pin prick!

It's not going to fail (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092122)

The argument seems to be that people want a proliferation of new sources. Yes I'm sure that's why fox news and CNN and MS nbc all are watched by the same people eager for a proliferation of points of view. Or why readers of Huffpo also hang on the words of powerline blog and littel green footballs. Or how the readers of Hagee and the middle easter armageddonist news sources are widely read in the Slashdot crowd.

People do not channle surf these days. they find a few news aggregators they like, say huffpo, boingboing, andrew sullivan, fark nad slashdot, and then they follow the links one deep from there. But it's the aggregators that they come back too. A well constructued newsmag stands a chance. But if it is no more than the New york times or newsweek then it will also have plenty of competition.

Brilliant New News Aggregator Site! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092150)

"fark nad slashdot?" You are going to regret not registering that domain, good sir!

Re:It's not going to fail (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092776)

Your initial insinuation that most news readers are single sourced seems to be over-ridden by your later assertion that people want aggregation, as if you yourself have not decided which side of this argument you wish to pursue.

Most serious news readers in the digital age surf many sites or use aggregators such as Google News, or Individurls, or any number of other 100s of news feeds [newsonfeeds.com] . Lots of people follow news on twitter these days as well, @breakingnews will give you events from all over the world an hour before they show up anywhere else.

As for your lamentation that people don't surf channels, I doubt that is true when any major news event happens. But for reports of the latest local murder it hardly matters, its all the same pablum anyway. TV news is pretty much useless, because stories that are not sensational simply don't get covered. Having someone else read their choice of news stories to you is an intellectual surrender.

Nothing wrong with the basic concept (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092906)

... but where it fails is the business model. It assumes that people are willing to pay to access a single aggregation service when so many already exist free of charge. Ever wonder why music and video piracy is so rampant? Yeah, internet users like their free stuff. So given a choice between a 99 cents a week or a zero cents a week price point, most will just take the latter while wondering why the former would even exist.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092156)

In briefer terms:

Why pay for things I can get for free online? Bits cost almost nothing. Instead: Rupert should be looking for new ways to pay his laborers, like collecting user data and selling it, like google does rather than charging for a newspaper.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (2)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092272)

Exactly, the issue isn't that people are unhappy with the online delivery methods that exist, it's that the ones that do exist are free.

Most people will not pay for something they can get for free, even if the pay version is just of moderately higher quality. It has to be much, much higher quality.

Since this is just plain text articles, basically - I don't see many people paying for the service when bookmarks work just as well, even on the iPad.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092624)

I often wonder how much longer magazines like Asimovs or Analog can last. They still charge $36 a year, even if you order the e-edition. I like the content but if they are not going to give me a rebate, then I might as well order the Paper version (which I can resell later on ebay for ~$10).

I also wonder if Books are doomed. I see amazon is selling The Golden Age of Science Fiction (50 Short Stories + 7 novels), volumes 1-10 for $2 each. Why pay full price for the physical books when I can get the same content downloaded to my Kindle or PC for about the same cost as a 2 candybars?

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092792)

I received an e-reader (not Kindle) as a gift, and I read a lot of print books still.

For one, I'd rather have the physical book to pass along to others for free when I'm done.

Secondly, the cost of e-books doesn't represent much (or any) savings over new paperbacks.

Third, I never buy new books - amazon itself clears jillions of used/like new books so almost all my reading is already basically free.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092900)

Why pay full price for the physical books when I can get the same content downloaded

It quote my wife ... "I Like the smell and feel of books. I like flipping paper pages. Reading an ebook would be about as fulfilling as having a McDonalds Hamburger instead of one made fresh by a chef."

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093072)

Children are destructive creatures. Books are doomed, but not in the sense you meant. There's going to be a healthy market for replacements until we grow our offspring in vats and have them emerge at adulthood.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (2)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092998)

As a counter example, Charlie Sheen, being rich and famous, could easily get fairly high quality sex for free, and yet he still pays upwards of $20,000 a night for y porn star prostitutes.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

daninaustin (985354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092178)

I think Murdoch mentioned that it would break even at 500k subscribers. I don't think that this will reverse the general decline in newspaper revenues, but reaching break-even or profitability on the app looks pretty easy.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093016)

I think Murdoch mentioned that it would break even at 500k subscribers. I don't think that this will reverse the general decline in newspaper revenues, but reaching break-even or profitability on the app looks pretty easy.

But staying at break even may be harder. iPad fans are always looking for some use for their devices other than checking facebook every 15 minutes, and are easily lured away by what ever is next. Many users find they are bored with the iPad and use it less and less each month.

So will these people continue to pay for news when they find that they use Google News or some other aggregation service more frequently? Will they drop their local news paper and plow the money into Murdoch's opinion about what matters?

I don't think so. Its yet another passing iPad Fad, that people will tire of paying for.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092204)

This comment is right on the mark, but I wonder if Murdoch will wait for the money to happen. I would give this less than a year. (BTW, I have been wrong about every technology related prediction I have ever made.) Mostly I keep thinking, would I use this thing (if I had a tablet/iPad to run it on)? The answer is no, because for now the NYTimes is free. When their paywall goes up, I'll have to see how that works out and what other sources I might read. But it has been so long since I paid for news that I find it difficult to imagine going back to that. If nothing else, I'll send a hundred bucks to NPR and turn the radio on. Maybe I don't need to read the news at all.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (2)

linhares (1241614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092370)

if/when the paywall goes up, google the url (assuming you heard about the story or were redirected there by someone), and it will most likely let you in. You really gotta hand it to those guys, they want the google traffic, while blocking those that went to their sites in the first place.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092380)

How do you make money in publishing?

Start out with lots of money.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092426)

"News Corp has a quarterly revenue of around 8 billion dollars [google.com] but their net income has been steadily declining (duh)."

Ah, that's why there will be "dances with smurfs" II and III to fill up the coffers.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (3, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092478)

News Corp has a quarterly revenue of around 8 billion dollars [google.com] but their net income has been steadily declining (duh).

Has it?

From the article titled "News Corp profit doubles despite MySpace charge" [ft.com]

The charge on News Corp’s digital media group came after MySpace cut half its staff and marred otherwise strong results in which rising cable and broadcast television profits more than offset declines in film and digital media.

Net income for the fiscal second quarter more than doubled to $642m, or 24 cents per share, from $254m, or 10 cents, a year earlier, when results included a $500m litigation settlement. Excluding one-offs, adjusted earnings per share rose 16 per cent from 25 cents to 29 cents.

Although I think the rest of your comment is spot on.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

sarysa (1089739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092554)

The Apple comment further mystifies me. While terrible that they should lose so much money to Apple, it does give Apple incentive to see this succeed since it's designed for their product. So consider first how amazing Apple is at promoting products and how terribly backward News Corp has been as of late. It might turn out to be a paltry sum to have Apple selling their product with interest of seeing it succeed.

On the contrary, I don't think Apple really cares about this News Corp deal. The 50% premium (versus their typical 30%) is probably made up of promotional fees, and perhaps to offset the revenue that Apple won't be getting via advertising. (though unlikely, as they won't take down other apps for not using iAd) Apple only needs for users to click on their iAds and purchase apps -- any apps -- regardless of where they're from.

Unrelated, but even though I'd never use The Daily in a million years, I could see it having an audience with iPad fanatics who:
- Don't like loading times
- Don't have the time or willpower (or give enough of a damn) to search multiple sources
- Are casual news junkies
I can also see the retro-futuristic appeal to multimedia newspapers. I'm a bit neutral in regards to its long term success, but isn't it a bit early to be writing the epitaph?

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092934)

Well it seems Apple gets their 30% cut for implementing the billing and subscription service as well as the content delivery. That's probably a sensible decision - rather than building such a system themselves they outsourced it to a company which has a lot of experience in that field. Also since Apple is paid by getting a cut, they pass part of the risk of the project to them.

The price point of 99 cent / week might be the right range as well. It's something you might spend just for the coolness of it - and it does look cool, though not revolutionary. Personally I just don't see myself buying an iPad or reading a Murdoch rag, though.

Re:Drop in the Bucket to Be Shoved Down Our Gullet (2)

clifyt (11768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093078)

"It might turn out to be a paltry sum to have Apple selling their product with interest of seeing it succeed."

I thought News Corp said Apple was taking 30% cut, not 50%...I know that you were only quoting, but 30% is a LOT less than half.

Even so, I delivered newspapers as a kid...from the time I was 11 til I was 15, I had a newspaper route and made a LOT of money. Why? Because as a paperboy, you are technically an independent carrier, and you have to buy the papers from the publisher -- and you mark them up 100% from your wholesale costs. A $0.50 paper cost me $0.25...

Hell, the markup was good enough that when I took vacations or needed help from another paperboy, I just upped my order to the point that instead of telling the other paperboy my customers (and potentially letting them steal them) -- I just bought enough for EVERYONE in my area and told him to deliver every single home. During subscription times when we would get prizes for signing up the most people -- I realized that I could sign someone up for two weeks, get my $5 bonus per person -- and cancel them when it was over and make even greater profit (I ended up winning two trips to disneyland, deliveryperson of the year, as well as almost $10k worth of cash prizes over the 4 years because of this).

What is the point? 30% is not a lot for these companies to get their media -- and their advertisements into the hands of readers. Even at 50%, which I made as a youth (and trust me, I didn't have the pull Apple does) -- they were making money.

Considering the fact that most of the money in this business comes from advertising -- the only real reason you have to pay at all is that the advertisers want to ensure they are putting their products in front of people that actually buy products...not deadbeats.

The only thing holding me back from buying a subscription to this is that it requires me to have an internet connection when I open the app. Rumor is (maybe confirmed yesterday?) that the next OS is going to allow scheduled / background downloads of content like this...and if that happens, I'll probably front for a couple of week to see how well I like it. So far, it seems like a pretty decent magazine. The photojournalism so far is great and is perfect for the medium. Hell, there were a few things I didn't even realize until the second time around (i.e., a few of the photos were panoramic if you touched it)...I'm a huge fan of the Big Picture, and these photos were similar to the ones there...worth paying for just that alone.

Might be the first paper I've subscribed to in years...

Failed model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092082)

Failed model? I guess that's why you never see magazines in waiting rooms, grocery store endcaps or anywhere else anymore...;)

That's what the naysayers said about MySpace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092096)

oh wait

Not gonna happen. (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092104)

I think the most important point of the article is that the app cost $30M to develop, and will cost .5M/week to keep running. As I see it, there's pretty much no way an iPad app like this is going to consistently bring in enough money to pay off the initial investment, or even keep up with the weekly costs.

Utterly doomed.

Re:Not gonna happen. (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092154)

That would be true, if media only generated revenue on a subscription basis.

Re:Not gonna happen. (2)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092396)

Well, the whole reason Murdoch has been paywalling his content is that he claims the ad revenue is so low that a tiny number of paying subscribers brings in more revenue than huge numbers of non-paying readers. So the implication of that is that the majority of the revenue raised will indeed be from the subscription charges, at least that's Murdoch's expectation. I'd imagine that's even more true given that paying subscribers will expect fewer ads than if they were reading the same content for free on the web.

Re:Not gonna happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092714)

30M?!?!?!?!? How do you spend 30M developing a fairly simple iPad app... I build iPad apps professionally (or so I thought) apparently I'm in the minor leagues... I really can't comprehend where you'd spend 30M in iPad Development... even including infrastructure and servers.. I still don't get it

Re:Not gonna happen. (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093030)

Paywalls ain't cheap, you know.

Anyway, if this thing has any chance of survival, they need to get it on more platforms, especially Android.

Not that I want Murdoch to succeed or anything.

"rsmiller51" submitted a blog item by "Ron Miller" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092110)

huh, what are the odds.... "rsmiller510" submitted a blog item by "Ron Miller"

Re:"rsmiller51" submitted a blog item by "Ron Mill (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092158)

So what? If the editors don't think it's worth posting, they won't.

Re:"rsmiller51" submitted a blog item by "Ron Mill (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092252)

If the editors don't think it's worth posting, they won't.

you must be new here

Re:"rsmiller51" submitted a blog item by "Ron Mill (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092292)

Judging by his picture, this "Ron Miller" guy should not be posting about tech news, he should be driving his Chevy Nova around 1970's San Francisco solving crimes.

Re:"rsmiller51" submitted a blog item by "Ron Mill (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092308)

Because the mods here are just awesome at only selecting things that are newsworthy.

Next up in the firehose... "the paper clip turns 73"

Thanks, Slashdot! (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092754)

Thanks for telling me what to think about The Daily, Slashdot! Now I don't have to check it out and make a judgement for myself like an intelligent human.

I'll just file this article away next to the "iMac is doomed," "iPod is doomed," "iPod nano is doomed, and "iPad is doomed," articles from Slashdot's past.

"Failure" depends on the goals. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092134)

I hate to be cynical, but my first reaction was that they where selling the content (rather then giving it away) and packaging it as a magazine so they could get away with it not really being news. Much like the only "news" segment on Fox News is about an hour a day and the rest is "commentary".

Re:"Failure" depends on the goals. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092448)

Much like the only "news" segment on Fox News is about an hour a day and the rest is "commentary"
That isn't much different then any other news broadcast. There is only really an hour of news everyday that mass people will care about. The rest is specialized by location or peer group.

Re:"Failure" depends on the goals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092572)

I'm not sure why you are cynical, that's exactly Fox's model, to the angst of the angry left. Much of Fox News is just commentary and opinion shows, not news. Their actual news casting is but a portion of it and is actually well done. Too bad it doesn't take up more of the network else Fox would have more credibility (to some).

Shocked (4, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092140)

Color me shocked that the writer for another website, marketing itself as a "macrosite for news", predicts the failure of another news aggregator.

Re:Shocked (0)

MichaelKristopeit345 (1967646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093180)

the only thing you will find on this internet web site chat room message board are hypocritical marketeers pushing their ignorance.

slashdot = stagnated

GPS enabled (3, Funny)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092144)

I saw a TV interview with Murdoch yesterday, and he was trying to say that the most innovative thing about his iPad News service was it's GPS functionality. Supposedly no matter where you take the thing, it will give you news and weather that is relevant to the area that you are at.

Re:GPS enabled (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092304)

Big freaking deal. If I live in NYC and fly to LA with a stopover in Chicago I really couldn't care less what the latest local Chicago news is or the latest local LA news is. As a resident of NY I'm much more interested in news local to NY whether I'm there or in freaking Antarctica.

Re:GPS enabled (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092416)

And you get to control that. Fancy that.

You can set your NY Zip Code as the "location" for news, and it will always give you local news to whatever locale you want.

The point is that the news can be localized, as opposed to just getting "national" news only, even when you are at home, in NY.

        -dZ.

Re:GPS enabled (2)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092376)

The problem with that idea is the platform. With full internet access on the iPad, why would someone want local news as brought to them by a company 1000's of miles away when its far easier to just download or create an icon link to a real local news source that is likely more current, more accurate and already familiar. It seems that Murdoch is trying to reinvent stuff that is already out there.

This could backfire, Steve (3, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092186)

Ok mods will burn me for this... but I think that their move to charge 30% off of the dying news industry might seriously backfire. Consider this:

i) the media industry has friends in high places;
ii) given enough time, they will become desperate and have nothing to lose;

To bet against Steve has been a surefire loss for a long time. But I would never fight against those with friends in high places, desperate, with nothing to lose.

I think it's only a matter of time between the news cycle starts turning all "Apple the subject of antitrust laws?" or the classic "Should Apple be broken up?". Neither AT&T nor IBM nor MS had a good run with the state dept. Perhaps Apple is overstreching a bit too far here; I for one think the backlash isn't worth that 30% cut.

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1, Interesting)

papasui (567265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092314)

If there's one thing people should realize by now is don't count Steve Jobs out. The dude is wildy sucessful at going against popular opinnion.

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092430)

isn't that what they used to say about AT&T, IBM or MS, back in the day?

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1)

Zwets (645911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092568)

...don't count Steve Jobs out. The dude is wildy sucessful at going against popular opinnion.

Shouldn't that be "wildly succesful at distorting reality [folklore.org] "?

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092782)

and if Steve finally dies this year? Then what? He's real sick.

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092406)

That requires Apple to have a monopolistic hold over a market. While right now they do on the tablet market, its only because we have only begun to see worthy Android competitors. I'm pretty sure Android on the tablet will compete with the iPad as well as Android on the phone competes with the iPhone.

The risk for Apple isn't antitrust, its News Corp et. al. being able to get better deals on other platforms. This seems good for everyone -- its that mythical market at work.

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092538)

This is why you start high. They make 30% while they can, then settle for 15%. It appears that they are reducing their take, to appease their customers - when in reality they are just adjusting their take down to their originally planned percentage.

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092654)

With all due respect, I doubt if you have any experience in the publishing industry. Talk to any dead-tree publisher of newspapers, magazines, or books and ask if they'd like to have distribution (plus some promotion) handled by someone else for a mere 30%. They'd jump at it.

Re:This could backfire, Steve (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092658)

I think it's only a matter of time between the news cycle starts turning all "Apple the subject of antitrust laws?" or the classic "Should Apple be broken up?". Neither AT&T nor IBM nor MS had a good run with the state dept. Perhaps Apple is overstreching a bit too far here; I for one think the backlash isn't worth that 30% cut.

I have mod points but I'm not going to burn you for this, just tell you that you're wrong and why. Apple, the iPhone, the iPad, are not the only venue in a market. They are not the only place that this can be sold at. They are nothing more than a single avenue in a wide market. They are equivilent to one chain of book stores out of all the book stores out there. That being said, getting 70% of cover price for a periodical is a fantastic deal for the publishers. Much better than printed material as brick and mortar stores usually get more than 30% and then there are the distributor costs. The publishers gets most of its costs from advertising anyway. All of which is why subscriptions can usually be gotten straight from the publisher on periodicals for much much less than 70%.

Where you will see publishers getting into conflict with Apple will be on advertising costs. If apple tries to take too much of that, then they'll start pushing back. Even then, they'll just drop Apple products as a market before much else takes place.

News Corp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092238)

Don't you mean "News" Corp.? Makes a big difference.

Narrow and naive point of view (2, Interesting)

cecom (698048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092298)

Thank god, there is Ron Miller to tell us what to think and like.

While I am not particularly excited about The Daily specifically, Miller's assertion that "we" (who is "we"??) don't want a paid daily newspaper from a single source is very arrogant and short sighted. Many of us _do_ want a paid daily newspaper from a single source. No, that is not all that "we" read, but "we" like the reliable and consistent quality and even a little predictable bias. It is not the same as Google News. I am not bashing the latter, but to assume that everybody wants the same thing is amazingly naive.

"20-century model" in a "21-century package" is "doomed to fail from the get go". Oh my. Such buzz-filled nonsense makes me sick. A paper book is a 16-century model, and a Kindle is the same but in a "21-century" package. Are they doomed to fail?

Don't like "The Daily" (I personally don't) - OK - don't f*ink read it. But don't pretend you have deep all-encompassing insights about what everybody wants in the "21st century".

Re:Narrow and naive point of view (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092382)

  I agree there is something way too hollow about this 'article'. Time to reverse that old adage. Now it's "never mistake malice for simple error".

Re:Narrow and naive point of view (1)

enormouspenis (741718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092398)

My name is R. Miller and We don't want this sort of criticism in response to our post. This sort of response is destined to fail. I am an expert.

Re:Narrow and naive point of view (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092770)

"20-century model" in a "21-century package" is "doomed to fail from the get go". Oh my. Such buzz-filled nonsense makes me sick. A paper book is a 16-century model, and a Kindle is the same but in a "21-century" package. Are they doomed to fail?

He's just pissed off that he writes stories for a website few people have heard of and no one reads his blog which he made and is super cool.

While The Daily isn't my style, I agree with you. I want my local newspaper, as a nice app on my phone/ipad, something I'm used to, but on my ipad so I always have it with me. I'd prefer NOT to have a fuckton of ads since it costs me to download them and there is limited screen space on my phone, so I'm willing to pay for it.

I don't want a freaking flashy/jumpy/animated/clippyized version of the news paper.

I don't want 'new and exciting' from my newspaper, its a utility to me, I just want it to do its job.

People who want new and exciting are the retards who think Twitter, Facebook, and their personal blog are authoritative news sources.

Re:Narrow and naive point of view (1)

minorproblem (891991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093224)

Agreed, I currently pay for subscriptions to several newspapers and magazines (hard and soft copies). The only reason I do so is that the writing is consistently good quality. And the writers that are biased are at least biased in a consistent way (like you mentioned e.g. finance articles). I also like that they have access to high quality interesting photographs related to the stories, and most of the comments on the articles tend to be fairly well written, as having to pay seems to instantly filter out all the youtube quality comments.

Where is the new media? (1, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092306)

I checked it out. Its very pretty, but its just like having a pdf copy of any print magazine. If I wanted that I would just go to a newsstand a buy a magazine. There is nothing there to make you go "wow i haven't seen that before" and unfortunately for them without a wow factor this just isn't going to fly. Perhaps if it had imbedded photo galleries, interactive charts, etc, it might be more interesting but as it is, its comes across as a scanned version of a print magazine. Its just hard to believe they have already burned through 30 million and this is what they ended up with. For half a million a week, I would expect at least some level of interactivity and information I cant find elsewhere...so far they are delivering neither.

Re:Where is the new media? (2)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092504)

Perhaps if it had imbedded photo galleries, interactive charts, etc, it might be more interesting but as it is, its comes across as a scanned version of a print magazine.

It does have embedded photo galleries and interactive charts, etc. It even has a service to read the headlines or articles to you automatically.

Which "The Daily" are you reading?

        -dZ.

Re:Where is the new media? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092616)

Yeah, my first thought was "wait, the iPad already has a 'magazine' app" - Flipboard [appsafari.com] . That app puts web content in a magazine format and looks very easy to use. (My wife has the iPad, not me.)

As far as the content - why would people around the country want to be locked into The Daily's content when they could aggregate content from multiple sources - including Fox or other Murdoch publications if they wish to.

Re:Where is the new media? (1)

Above (100351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093032)

I don't think this is quite a fair assessment. I downloaded the app to my iPad, and will try it at least for the first two free weeks.

While I'll admit about 80% of it looks like a nice digitization of a print magazine, there are a number of aspects where they deviate. There are embedded movies and photos. No, not just still photos but 360 degree panoramas you can scroll around. The crossword and sudoku are both interactive, you can actually play them on the iPad. A couple of the advertisements have interactive elements. as well, allowing you to zoom in on areas of interest. Pages about sports teams embed their real time twitter feed, and interesting idea.

Revolutionary, no, not quite. Interesting, yes; it is a glimpse of how a magazine will evolve in the digital age. Could they do more? Sure, and I bet they will over time.

The drawbacks I see are that it makes my iPad feel sluggish. Most things on it are quite zippy, but several operations in The Daily are quite slow. The second is price, I don't really mind 99 cents for an issue, but I'm sort of annoyed the other option is $40 for an entire year. A year is a long time, and comes from slow print relationships of a magazine per month. I think perhaps $10 for a quarter would be a much better deal for the consumer, and not lock them in for what is an eternity in the digital space.

My bigger question is, why can't this sort of content just be delivered in Safari? The answer may be in the in-App charging and DRM, but if so that's a bit of a lame reason. Web sites for major magazines should look this good, on a standard browser.

Content HAS to be paid for in SOME way (3, Insightful)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092312)

I don't have an opinion about whether The Daily is going to make it or not. I've spent maybe 15 minutes looking at it so far (yesterday), and I'm going to give it more of a chance over the next couple of weeks while it's free. My initial thoughts weren't especially positive, but it's the content, not the business model, that didn't impress me. The content looked OK and was arranged decently, but I wasn't especially interested in most of what I saw. I didn't see that it was anything unique that I couldn't find anywhere else. If it continues to feel generic, it's going to die. However, if it dies, it's not going to be because people won't spend $1 a week on it. If content is unique and interesting, I'll easily pony up money for a week of it that's less than the cost of a soft drink these days. Some people won't pay anything, ever, for content. But I think that's shortsighted. SOMEONE has to be paid to produce content. It doesn't just magically appear from the Content Fairy. Just as people have to be paid if you want your grass cut or your hair cut or your plumbing fixed, you have to pay the people who produce content. I don't know what the best model is for paying those people, but the idea that you can forever get content for free isn't logical or reasonable. Content companies are losing money by giving away their material on the web. That is NOT going to continue forever. Anybody who understands business understand it you can't invest massive amounts of money into something not producing a return, especially while your traditional lines of business dry up. Those of us on the web have gotten a free product for years because we've been subsidized by the people who pay for printed and televised versions of the content. That subsidy won't last forever. SOMEONE has to find a way to get content producers paid. To simply declare that the future model is free is shortsighted and is a misunderstanding of what's happened on the web so far.

Re:Content HAS to be paid for in SOME way (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092652)

Some people won't pay anything, ever, for content. But I think that's shortsighted. SOMEONE has to be paid to produce content.

Indeed. But, at least from me, that someone won't be Rupert Murdoch.

Re:Content HAS to be paid for in SOME way (4, Funny)

narcc (412956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092854)

Those of us on the web have gotten a free product for years because we've been subsidized by the people who pay for printed and televised versions of the content. That subsidy won't last forever.

The same thing happened to an old technology called "radio". It's biggest problem was that content produces had no way to bill their listeners. Once they bought a "radio set" they could consume all the free content they wanted!

Sure, it enjoyed a huge boom in the 1920's, but By the 1940's, all the money dried up and radio became a distant memory.

If my memory serves me correctly, a similar technology called "television" met the same fate in the 1960's -- To be fair, it never really stood a chance with its short-sighted "give all the content away for free" business model.

Obscure, I know, but you can find information about them on the web ... for now ...

Re:Content HAS to be paid for in SOME way (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092962)

If you think the radio and television advertising model works online for content producers in the same way it worked for broadcast, you're not paying attention.

Re:Content HAS to be paid for in SOME way (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092970)

What's wrong for simply asking for money? Wikipedia is going that route, public media is going that route, charities, bloggers exist like this.

Here's the deal: News used to be performed in bulk by an "organization" but online this doesn't work the same way.

  Even the dribble of income from "fund drives" can't sustain such a traditional organization. Selling advertising isn't going to work, since click rates and sales converts just don't cut it (since selling online is itself cut-rate). Ads will still exist, but there's not enough money in it alone.

In this age, where the individual blogger has a chance to shine (with low/no journalistic entry bar), machine-based aggregation can collect the information and consolidate it for presentation of content in a single style. The sheer act of aggregating news has been changed to mostly a pile of scripts.

What's missing is editorial excellence, which, if bloggers don't apply themselves, needs to be applied during aggregation. So, we get something of a organization via meta layers (Wikipedia) or a true body of editors (Huf Post) or somewhere in-between (slashdot).

If editorial bodies asked for money, then gave it unbiased to the content generators that had the best ranking of involvement, readership, positive reviews, and reposts/backlinks, they may be able to make some money. The editorial body cannot take the majority share, which is what most of this is about. Since right now we have a HUGE number of content generators, supply/demand allows non-free sites to die until the free ones thin out or people migrate to better editorial levels (which they do).

Depends on the definition of "fail" (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092348)

It'll either (1) be wildly profitable (I think this is unlikely) (2) be mildly profitable (3) Barely recoup costs, or (4) Hemorrhage money.

I think (2) or (3) are the most likely. I don't think it costs enough money to count as an hemorrhage especially considering it's modest costs compared to the company's total sales.

But no matter what happens, the industry will learn something from the experiment, so even if it's a total disaster, it won't be a failure.

Presumptive Title (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092412)

Isn't a little much to editorialize in the title itself? I understand the referenced article is an opinion piece, but can the editors please clarify that this isn't an event that's actually happened or been established as true, perhaps with a more appropriate title like "Blogger claims New Corp's The Daily is doomed"?

USA Today (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092444)

In 1982 everyone said USA Today was a doomed paper, news papers were dying, no need for a national newspaper, color was too expensive, etc.

It remains one of the two biggest papers in the United States.

So really a day after launch is a little early to say the Daily won't take off.

The author shows his idiocy... (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092446)

Right below the video, the author of the article states: "What strikes me immediately is that The Daily looks like a conventional news magazine. I don't know what I was expecting -- perhaps something new and more exciting -- but what I got was essentially a multimedia iPad version of Time."

(1) The conventional news magazine is a winning model proven by decades of profit.
(2) The author had no specific idea what he wanted from the product.
(3) The author, while have no specific idea what he wants, he knew he wanted to be excited by something new to him.

What that can even be, who knows? Not him, that's for sure. Maybe there should have been a radioactive badger. Maybe he wanted to see words immediately downloaded into his brain while being hugged by Steve Jobs who's chanting, "You're my number #1 friend, Apple iPad User 0011286453. You make me happy."

It sure looks like a multimedia Time, but isn't that the next step in evolution? News media has gone from word-of-mouth, to letters, to print, to print with carved images, to print with black and white photography, to print with color photography, to digital distribution, to digital distribution with video. The problem is that the last couple steps were cluttered with links to other revenue-producing products, thus stealing away from the focus on the news. That's why print has survived despite the digital revolution.

The Daily take the high quality, quick turn-over expectations of online news media and puts it into the less-noisy magazine format.

Now, I hate Murdoch and pretty much the entirety of News Corp as much as the next rational person, but this looks to be done in the right format. That's how I want to read my online magazine news when I finally get a tablet PC. Stick a high standard for journalistic integrity on something like The Daily, and I'll be a subscriber.

What a surprise. A blogger predicts failure... (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092462)

Most bloggers generally either regurgitate news from other sources like News Corp properties while adding their own editorial spin on it or simply aggregate news from other sources. So given this, I am not in the least surprised that a blogger would claim that the daily is "doomed".

Here is a news flash for all of you wannabe "journalist" bloggers out there, you will fade into obscurity as the "web' becomes less relevant as a news source when the traditional media jumps on the electronic daily magazine bandwagon. These things are the future

Virgin media launched their magazine first with updating content on the iPad and this "Daily" takes the magazine concept one step further. You have the flashy layout of magazines combined with the dynamic and up to date feel of a website with the production values of the old news papers.

Blogging is the one that is doomed and news print media has been reborn as rich media that is both updated on the fly and persistent for times when the network connection is not there while retaining the production values of a glossy magazine.

Wall Street Journal Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092488)

News Corp has been successful ... with the digital editions of the Wall Street Journal. Which is the value of their purchase of Dow Jones a number of years ago. People will pay a premium even on the internet for specialized business news. Pearson makes money from the Financial Times, and Bloomberg makes money off its terminals and various internet-delivered equivalents.

That is NOT a mass-market approach. Digital subscriptions to the WSJ, or FT, or Bloomberg, are pricey. Pricier even than the NYT digital subscription. And the Ipad is a not a mass-market device (too pricey, too limited). That's OK.

Murdoch has been pretty clear in his strategy. He wants to create a beta version of a daily newspaper that charges somewhat premium prices and will eventually migrate to Smart phones and cheap tablet devices. The Ipad is merely the first step. Can a business sell premium content at premium prices? The WSJ, FT, and Bloomberg all suggest, YES!

Re:Wall Street Journal Model (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092552)

And the Ipad is a not a mass-market device (too pricey, too limited)

7.33 million iPads.

The iPad IS the mass-market right now.

it's the content, stupid. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092500)

the problem with The Daily isn't the business model. 99c an issue or 40 bucks a year is a pretty sound pricing plan, however, what the author fails to mention is that similar plans for paid content works in other contexts, and will work for online journalism. Having to compete with free isn't difficult, it's having actual, content to want to go to from week to week to week.

Had this been another media outlet that might be able to command money for it's content, this would be a different conversation. However, I fail to see how Rupert Murdoch could assemble any team of content producers who could make this venture worth while. I often see Rupert Murdoch's name bandied about but he's the behind the scenes business geek. He's not an author. He doesn't produce content. Where's the content?

I love the iPad, don't get me wrong, however, I don't see how that and that alone are what's going to sell The Daily.

Mr. Murdoch, who's writing for this damn thing?!

Is there a reason I should waste my time... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092518)

...reading this article?

It's written by some random blogger who doesn't appear to have credentials in analysis of journalism trends, and all he really does is prognosticate doom and gloom for a new product without (a) evidence to indicate imminent failure or (b) allowing the new product to test itself in the marketplace. I could get the same level and quality of information from reading the comments to the /. thread that reported on The Daily going live in the first place.

yep definitely going to fail (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092524)

it's just going to go the way of the ipod and the iphone.

wait, what?

just like eBooks are Doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092548)

They are the same old model in a new package..

hrm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092588)

Who is rsmiller510 and why do we care?

Murdoch + Typical Apple Product User (2)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092596)

I find it a little strange that Rupert Murdoch, who every self-respecting left-leaning individual loathes, would be launching an online-only newspaper exclusively available to Apple users who, in my own experience, are overwhelmingly lefty. It will probably cause some serious cognitive dissonance among liberal Steve Jobs idolizers. "It's on the iPad so I should be excited about it, but it's run by Rupert Murdoch so isn't it just iFoxNews?" (Cue head explosion.)

failure path (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092598)

Viewers appreciate a variety of editorial stances. A single editorial source, regardless of journalist/commentator. In News Corp's world, journalism and comment are smeared together and heavily biased, as is well-known. So nobody thinks this is "all the news" from the start. Expanding on this, the very reason we enjoy the internet is the diverse sources of differing opinions, watching the sway of fact/proof overcome any information filter from a single source.

    Once viewers of the NewsCorp padzine find that they are "getting more" about a story by going to the web, they may realize that it doesn't require a dollar to read free information, and laden with advertisements.

    What people should do is get an offline caching tool for news sites they enjoy, and essentially have a pad device spider them and serve them up locally. By just pointing to the domain (and directing some of the interest, like "all sports, politics" "no cooking, weather") someone could sell this app and make some $, IMO. Just a placeholder server while offline, waiting for the bandwidth to catch up. Add in a few goodies like capture-while-you-sleep and update-with-live in-place, and you've got a nice app.

"will fail" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092634)

How can you say that? It's for the iPad! everything for the iPad is cool!. Oh. Wait. It's from NewsCorp. Everything from NewsCorp is vile and dorky. Arrgh! The cognitive dissonance! It hurts!

Re:"will fail" (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093274)

That's really its only fundamental flaw.

The Venn diagram of (people who buy Apple hardware) and (people who buy Rupert Murdoch content) does not have a very large overlap, but does have a big bubble for (people who would avoid buying Apple hardware if it came with Rupert Murdoch content).

Re:"will fail" (1)

Kashell (896893) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093288)

Seriously, Slashdot has a crazy view on this one. You can't predict the future, and it's actually kinda (kinda) a cool move that Murdock is making a virtual paper. The editor should be shot and robots should replace him.

I, for one, welcome our new robot slashdot editor overlords.

Why do I even bother reading tech news anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092640)

Traditional newspapers are failing because the content is freely available online, therefore The Daily will fail, right?

The music industry started to lose profits when their content was freely available online. Many predicted the end of the big record companies.

However when the iTunes store came around, it did not fail.
It gave people the content they wanted at a low price and in a convenient format.

The Daily is trying to become the iTunes of news. Whether or not it will work is up in the air, but to dismiss it after a day is foolish.

wait wait wait... (1)

Slack0ff (590042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092674)

wait, you mean a limited digital magazine can't compete with the entire internet? This is the kind of news I come to slashdot for.

hogwash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092790)

The precise appeal is that it's an "old model" in a "new package". This is why it can succeed, if people are interested in its content to begin with. Most "online news media" stinks in its current form (gaudy, ugly, disorganized web sites). "The Daily" is an example of news in a format people actually enjoy reading - more like a printed magazine - unlike web pages. You can count me on board (with the concept, not necessarily this particular publication).

Oh, and it's not entirely "old model". The old model (print) can't provide things like links to other content or embed audio/video or 3D objects, etc.

Re:hogwash (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093112)

Except that one reason the "new model" works so well is that multiple editorial stances are represented. The old model's failure is that they push a single stance, and in the case of NewCorp, it is well-known to be heavily biased and agenda-laden in editorial review. Murdoch himself has stated that this is a responsibility of a unified news source.

If Murdoch provided a platform for content and less of the old model's heavy-hand in choosing articles, then it might have a wider audience. Then again, he'd have news aggregation - but oops, many web sites already do this for free. There are already many "new package" forms that use the browser to format diverse content (Google, Yahoo, etc).

You can, in fact, build your own with available tools. This is slashdot after all.

And... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35092800)

What is there to stop them from applying this to the Wall Street Journal on RIM's new platform and/or Android?

Guys like Miller fail to see that while this may not recapture the glory days of newspaper publishing, it presents an advertising opportunity that is head and shoulders above running just a website.

If Murdoch were truly evil, what he'd do is turn it into a mini-ecommerce platform by allowing advertisers to directly link their ads to an affiliate program that pays News Corp so that readers could buy the advertised product in one click in the app.

Finances and Anti-Rupert Notions Aside... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35092956)

The app itself is quite nice, one of the better news-type media experiences I have had on my iPad so far... If it does fail, I hope other developers can deliver similar content in a future app (and sure, free would be nice, but I think its worth the cup of coffee price as-is).

Re:Finances and Anti-Rupert Notions Aside... (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093272)

Until the flavor of the story you hear is heavily slanted like Fox News, and most other diverse news sources have clarifications that your source missed due to mistaking journalists for "commentators". Compare:

Surf landing pages of NPR, BBC, Al-J, Economist, CSM, Reuters, or aggregators like Google, Yahoo, Bing, to ... anything he owns [wikipedia.org] . Doesn't seem like much of a deal to me.

I mean, would you really feel like 40$ is well spent if your money paid for the drivel of the Hannity/Beck crowd? Where's the news in that.

Dear NewsCorp. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093046)

Instead of being apples bitch, how about releasing it as epub or as PDF so you can have EVERYONE as a reader instead of only a small segment?

Re:Dear NewsCorp. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093214)

It contains video and interactive elements (like sudoku).

Re:Dear NewsCorp. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093286)

Most people dont care about that.
Honestly, do these dead tree publishers not get it?

I want the magazines I like or the news sources I like in a e-form with updates during the day. Add articles, fix articles, delete unpatriotic things so we can all love big brother more....

IF I want to play suduko, I'll launch that app.
If I want to watch video, I'll watch it from a company that has a far better video production department than the Daily.

All your newz belong to Murdoch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093068)

Anyone willing to pay can have a peek.

Buh bye Rupert.

The REAL Daily "show" should sue! (1)

tvlinux (867035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093174)

Worlds apart in ideas but very close names. John Stewart should sue News Corp, make Murdock bleed a little more.

"It's differet than my approach, so it's wrong" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35093210)

Let's see, a guy who tries to make a living providing information in a certain format thinks an alternative format is doomed to fail.

I'm not sure how this is different than all those "TV broadcaster says blogs are doomed to fail" items which Slashdot loves to snicker at ....

I disagree. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35093232)

People are still buying magazines off the newsracks. Hell, I still do it. Why? Because the content is generally richer than what I can get on the average blog-like internet infotainment site. Editorial effort will do that for you.

So Miller has it exactly backwards. The Internet doesn't want more of what HE is selling, which is web-2.0 gibbering from unvetted writers who've had no discussions of the subject or goal with anyone else before writing the story. It wants professional-quality content, and may be willing to pay enough for it to keep a web-magazine format website going.

And the Internet does give the magazine's publisher massive efficiencies he'd never get from a printed medium. There's no unit cost to speak of; and production is cheaper. Once a page is written and layed out, it's done. Software can do the compositing as the writer enters the text and pictures and links and videos. Whole departments, and tons of man-hours and delay-hours, wiped out of the cost structure.

That leaves some overhead for technical operations, the occasional redesign of the format, and the continuing costs of the productive personnel: the editors and writers and photographers and video teams. Now that it's here, it will be much cheaper to keep it alive than if it were a paper thing.

And he's got Fox News to drive people to it. And you know their viewers will bite.

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