Do We Need The Daily?


After a decent amount of buildup (and delay), Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only “newspaper” launched yesterday. The Daily is a brand new publication, delivered uh daily, designed to leverage Apple’s tablet experience and the new App Store subscription service… once our two week free trials have expired.

The concept is progressive and the pricing is reasonable ($0.99/wk, or $40/yr). Yet, after taking a gander, I’m not feeling it. The visual carousel index is sluggish and grainy, while general navigation seems somewhat inconsistant. More importantly, the content is mostly uncompelling bite-sized fluff that prioritizes gossip over opinion. And I’m left wondering if what we really need is another publication that aspires to be all things to all people?

For broad coverage, I’ll put my money on the old guard improving their curation and digital presentation as we move forward. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post won’t teeter on the edge of obsolescence without putting up a fight. They see the cliff. And I suspect they’ll evolve just fast enough to avoid it.

But, one last thought on The Daily via Rafat Ali:

If The Daily wants to be read daily, it needs to be on iPhone. As a commuter read, at least in NYC. NYT iPhone app is my subway paper.

6 thoughts on “Do We Need The Daily?”

  1. I found it confusing to find articles I might be interested in. Maybe I just have not given it enough time. I think the Washington Post app does a better job. I do not want video stories either. Give me text.

  2. This is something that, at least right now, interests me. I don’t have an iPad, though. If I did I’d check it out.

    I like the idea of getting the paper or magazines via the iPad but when I looked at them on the Kindle it was always more than I wanted to pay. The Wall Street Journal was, I think, more on the Kindle than it was if you just flat out subscribed to it. I understand it’s a cut above but it’s still too far above my cut.

    If what Dave has said is true then I probably wouldn’t keep subscribing to the Daily. I’m still open to the idea of it all. Also, I’d give it a bit of a break for being v1.0.

  3. IMHO, you are covering the wrong Apple Story of the Week.

    The news yesterday that Apple was going to force companies like Amazon to give Apple a 30% cut of books bought on iOS devices seems a much bigger deal than “The Daily” to me…

    As William Jennings Bryan once said, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of a 30% cut to Cupertino on all commerce…

  4. Kevin, yeah it’s not entirely clear how to get (or return) to certain areas. But, like you, I wonder if that’s just my inexperience in the app. However, there’s probably a large percent of people who will give up and not be bothered to learn the ins and outs of the UI. Which is why I had so hoped Apple would champion their own periodical framework that a large number of content producers could leverage.

    Chucky, I did see some of that. But it’s not immediately clear to me what has changed, if anything. Also if it plays out as some fear, I could imagine some legal challenges. Anyhow, I like to focus more on the tech, experience, and content over business dealings. We shall see.

  5. “Also if it plays out as some fear, I could imagine some legal challenges.”

    In the EU, sure.

    In the US, it’s hard for me to imagine, at least for a while.

    Apple seems to have interpreted the lessons of Microsoft in the ’90’s thusly: if we keep ourselves to a very non-monopoly 20% market share in units, (while grabbing a 50+% market share by only targeting the upscale), the DOJ will leave us alone no matter what we do.

    My best guess is that it’ll take several years of Apple getting away with murder before sensible regulators can find a way to stop them. Their “we only sell integrated devices to a niche market” defense challenges existing regulatory thought.

    Apple’s strategy seems stupid clever to me in the short-term, but stupid in the long-term. One of the other lessons you should take from the Microsoft saga in the ’90’s is that clever strategies only work in the short-term, and that if you get into a real battle with the Feds, you lose even if your lawyers win the case.

  6. I’ve played with it a bit, and I think it’s a great start. I do think attractive media that takes advantage of the platform is the journalism of the future. But there are some serious limitations here, not least being that it keeps pausing to say “A new issue of The Daily is being delivered” on EACH launch, even minutes apart. That slows me down from my goal of spending a moment skimming something, and fails to put me back where I was before I had to go check the calendar for a sec.

    The New York Times has a cataclysmically poor iPad experience (though their iPhone app isn’t bad) despite a decent interface attempt. Washington Post is pretty good. It’s great to see another serious entrant with the capital to make a real go of making money this way. $40 a year is totally within the realm of reason for me, but I agree that the content will need to edge more toward news out of the fluff zone before I buy.

Comments are closed.