When it was launched in February 2011, The Daily had already been the subject of considerable conversation, as it was at the time a revolutionary product. It was the world’s first digital newspaper designed specifically for Apple‘s new iPad tablet, and many believed it would bring amazing news stories to the latest must-have gadget, driving sales of both products forward.
At least, that was the theory. A decent first impression soon gave way to indifference, as the newspaper failed to build on its first showing, and simply couldn’t compete with the social news revolution. As more news content appeared on the Web and the iPad for free, so The Daily began to feel old. Here in the UK, much of the anticipation revolved around there being a European specific edition in the future. Instead, we got the US edition, which meant almost nothing to anybody.
Now, less than two years later, News Corporation has decided to close The Daily‘s doors, following a company split which will see the print publishing arm breakaway from the film and media division. It will end publication on 15 December. A News Corp press release calls its cancellation a product of a “digital restructuring initiative”, while Rupert Murdoch commented that 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” he added.
Translated, we take that to mean it didn’t make enough money because not enough people were reading it.
Despite its lack of success, it’s a sad day when a product with potential doesn’t quite make it, and is simply absorbed back into the parent company. The Daily may no longer be with us, but it remains an important part of the growth of digital publishing, particularly on the iPad and inside Apple’s Newsstand.
News Corp has yet to provide any details on compensation for those who’ve purchased subscriptions.