The new era of journalism, heavily comprised of a twenty-four hour news cycle, digital media and all subsequent methods of access, has spawned the collaboration between Apple Inc. and News Corporation owner, Rupert Murdoch. Two powerhouses have converged to do something groundbreaking, so to speak. What’s on the table, or should I say tablet, is The Daily, a newspaper application tailor-made for the iPad. Subscribers are asked to purchase a subscription for 99 cents per week, amounting to just a few pennies a day. Publishing new information daily, this newspaper app enables subscribers to access a wide range of articles covering several genres.
Off the bat, that seems fairly reasonable, considering that The Daily promises to offer exclusive, well written content along with breaking news updates and gossip. But upon closer inspection, we arrive at the meat of the matter: News Corporation and Apple Inc. want me to pay for news that I can basically read for free. In a society where traditional newspapers have tanked, and every respectable paper has a free web presence and app, The Daily is taking a leap of faith. Paying 99 cents per week is a tall order for someone who knows that there are other inexpensive options.
The latest issue of The Daily makes a mockery of its’ own namesake. The major news article surrounded the social movement and political turmoil in Egypt, an ongoing development that was and is continuously covered by mainstream media and the blogosphere. Who wants to pay for the news they could have watched on television or online the night before? Nothing about this daily coverage says novelty. Nothing screams fresh and new. Original content is the only content people are willing to pay for, especially when every Joe Schmo with a camera phone is giving everything away for free.
With less than 20 million iPads in the hands of consumers, how does Mr. Murdoch expect to gain a substantial fiscal reward? Although the subscription is priced on the low end, I doubt that people are ready to invest in superfluous, poorly written content. Well that’s just it, maybe he isn’t. Perhaps he just wants to be the first to bring the exclusivity of news to discriminating purchasers of an expensive tablet. Maybe he is well aware that he is riding a wave that needs more time to build and will inevitably crash.
I believe that most consumers and iPad users would rather spend their hard earned cash on a product that is actually innovative. We are already overly inundated with free avenues of accessing news, gossip and sports. No need for yet another bill. In an economy where pennies are being pinched, even those who can afford the iPad, have their limits. It would be different if there was something new to read about, but alas, such is not the case. News Corporation should recruit more talented journalists and focus on unreported news. My advice to you: spend your money elsewhere. Chances are, The Daily will become free and operate solely on advertising profits in a matter of months.