Posted November 22, 2010 8:43 am by with 3 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Rupert Murdoch is determined to take the free out of Internet publishing if it’s the last thing he does on this earth. In his latest effort to do so he is even in cahoots with someone that seems a bit surprising, Steve Jobs.

Murdoch’s News Corp has apparently sunk $30 million into hiring 100 people to produce an iPad only paper in the very near future called “The Daily”.

The ‘paper’ is expected to cost 99 cents per week and provide readers with another outlet for news. To what degree there will be original news and a mashup of other News Corp. properties remains to be seen but the staff reports of only 100 is pretty small for a full-blown news organization. Whatever the look, it is likely to be announced this month with a launch set for the start of next year.

The Guardian says

The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world’s first “newspaper” designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple’s iPad, with a launch planned for early next year.

Intended to combine “a tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence”, the publication represents Murdoch’s determination to push the newspaper business beyond the realm of print.

The publishing giant is apparently latching on to what I call the “Internet Law of Large Numbers”. It has nothing to do with the traditional Law of Large Numbers but it sounds nice. I think it works like this. Take a large number of people (like the number using an iPad) then say “All you need is a very small percentage of those users to use your latest and greatest offering in order to be successful” and you have a business plan! Looks like that’s close to the thinking about this one. Read on

Murdoch believes the iPad is going to be a “game changer” and he has seen projections that there will be 40 million iPads in circulation by the end of 2011. A source said: “He envisions a world in which every family has a iPad in the home and it becomes the device from which they get their news and information. If only 5% of those 40 million subscribe to the Daily, that’s already two million customers.”

It’s the old “Heck, at least 5% of any large number of people can be expected to be enough of a sucker to buy anything” theory. Is that taught at the Harvard Business School?

So will this be a success? I don’t have a clue. I am not an iPad owner (I know, I am very uncool) but I also can’t imagine that people are looking for a completely new news source. What they want is the ones they already read and trust (to whatever degree) to remain free and to figure out how to keep providing the same content on the web that they have always paid for in print. That’s a stupid and backwards piece of logic on the part of us consumers but welcome to the Internet age!

So you iPad owners out there, are you looking for a new ‘newspaper’ to pay for and digest on your iPad? Let’s do an informal survey here at MP to let ol’ Rupert know if he is on the right track or not.

  • Gwyn

    i haven’t been suckered into buying an expensive, closed, limited device when there are cheaper, open and more flexible options on the horizon. I won’t be suckered into paying for (likely) politically biased journalism when there are free, independent and more trustworthy sources available now.

  • Cynthia

    While it’s true that people can get all of this info on the internet for free, people still buy daily papers, magazines and books. Not in the quantity they used to but they do. What people would be buying here is not the news, which they can get free anywhere, but the spin on the news. If you like a columnists work that much, isn’t it reasonable to ask readers to pay for it as they would pay for a coffee or to see a movie.

    You wouldn’t go to Starbucks and ask for free coffee because the coffee is free at home.

  • raycote

    If Apple is seriously involved in this design, it is more likely to be a video-news / text-based-drill-down combo media format. Basically TV news with an embedded newspaper. This format has not yet been fully tapped or creatively optimized.

    Linking to outsiders can be very liberal until the potential new viewer/reader show serious ongoing interest. Then access can be slowly metered down while simultaneously bombarding the potential new viewer/reader with a thick barrage of enticing carrot flavored loss leaders to join. I smell a Groupon-like advertising stream.