While newspaper and magazine publishers all still hope that the market for paid-for tablet-based magazines is set to boom as tablet ownership becomes more mainstream, meaning that media titles that have so far failed to persuade users to pay to access web-content (and which are not profiting from ad sales either) may be able to start generating decent revenues from their online content, one of the most high profile stand-alone tablet-only publications is closing.
Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-based The Daily launched in the US in February 2011, and became available via Apple’s App Store in the UK the following September. Having lost in the region of $30 million a year, and having signed up only about 100,000 subscribers in that time, Murdoch said this week: “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. [But] we will take the very best of what we have learned at The Daily and apply it to all our properties”.
The shutdown of the iPad magazine comes as Murdoch reorganises his media empire, with the newspaper and book publishing business spinning-off from the more lucrative film and TV entity. The former will keep the News Corporation name, while the latter will be renamed under the Fox brand.