On the content side, it wasn’t much of a gamble. News Corp publishes The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, the UK’s Daily Telegraph and hundreds of other papers around the globe. They also had some experience with paywalls for online versions of their newspapers, but The Daily had to be all that and more.
What they set out to build, was a news source that truly took advantage of everything the iPad had to offer; interactivity, linking, video and audio all working together to tell a story.
Did they succeed? Well, here we are a year later and The Daily has 100,000 paid subscribers. Yes, paid, making them the third largest-grossing app on iTunes. That’s quite an accomplishment. It proves once and for all that people will pay for content, as long as its good content.
The Daily did a couple of things to assure this success. One, they hired journalists. Real newshounds who could break a story. Next, they created a look and functionality specifically for the iPad and now they’re doing it for Android tablets. This isn’t as simple as it sounds. They didn’t just take a website and push it to a tablet, they created a structure that is a mix of old school newspaper, magazines and websites.
Then, they layered it all with those tablet bells and whistles. When you read a review of a new CD, you can click the link and have it downloaded to your iPad in seconds. Heck, you can listen to it while you’re reading the review!
The Daily publisher Greg Clayman told Mashable that the feedback they’ve received from actual users has been invaluable. It’s helped them understand how people consumer their content. Do they read in portrait or landscape? Do they read at home on the couch or on the train to work? What kind of ads and other content are they clicking on? His team tracks the info on a “daily” basis and through that, the app keeps growing and evolving.
What News Corp has learned that marketers need to understand is that tablets aren’t mini-desktop computers. It’s not about how we take web content and push it to the tablet. It’s about how do we create a whole new experience with what the tablet has to offer.