Launching into a brave new digital world, The Daily, one of the most-popular and highest-grossing iPad news apps, is to close down after it’s launch in 2011. The Daily was unable to gather enough paying subscribers at 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year to sustain itself. Murdoch said, via a press release:
From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation. Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term. Therefore we will take the very best of what we have learned at The Daily and apply it to all our properties.
Looking at comments posted here there doesn’t seem to be a failing with the app, or the presentation in general but the golden rule of publishing content. Lacking a target audience and and real focus seemed to be the demise of The Daily.
Back in february Jesse Angelo, editor-in-chief of The Daily, sent a memo to his editorial team urging them to go beyond “scraping the web and the wires” and do some actual reporting.
Read his memo and you will see why The Daily is in big trouble. (source)
Subject: The News
Folks, Egypt is over – time for us to get focused on covering America.
We need to get out there and start finding more compelling stories from around the country – not just scraping the web and the wires, but getting out on the ground and reporting. Find me an amazing human story at a trial the rest of the media is missing. Find me a school district where the battle over reform is being fought and tell the human tales. Find a town that is going to be unincorporated because it’s broke. Find me a story of corruption and malfeasance in a state capitol that no one has found. Find me something new, different, exclusive and awesome. Find me the oldest dog in America, or the richest man in South Dakota. Force the new White House press secretary to download The Daily for the first time because everyone at the gaggle is asking about a story we broke. Get in front of a story and make it ours – force the rest of the media to follow us.
It’s good stories that will keep people coming back to The Daily – we’ve assembled a crack news team, so let’s show the world what we can do.
Let’s hope someone else picks up the slack and releases something similar but more worthwhile.