The big news experiment is over. On Monday, News Corp. announced that its groundbreaking iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, would halt publication on Dec. 15. The news app, which was heralded in some circles as the future of publishing when its made its splashy debut in February 2011, failed to amass a large enough readership to justify its existence. At one point, some analysts estimated The Daily to be losing News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch $30 million a year.
"From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation," Murdoch said in a statement:
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.
The shakeup will move The Daily's technology and some of its staff to Murdoch's New York Post. Founding editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo will become The Post's publisher.
Chatter surrounding the tablet app's glitzy launch nearly two years ago quickly turned dour with rumors of layoffs cropping up just a few months later. Some have pointed out that The Daily's target market — relatively few Americans own iPads, and not all of them want to pay for an iPad-only newspaper — spelled The Daily's doom from the very beginning. Others have suggested that reading on a tablet just isn't a very popular activity.
Here, a few Twitter reactions to news of the The Daily's demise:
Mathew Ingram at GigaOm:
sounds like News Corp. has finally decided to take The Daily out behind the barn and put a bullet in it:businessinsider.com/news-corp-clos…
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) December 3, 2012
Howard Kurtz at Newsweek/The Daily Beast:
Murdoch folding The Daily - I never quite understood what it was or what it wanted to be
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) December 3, 2012
BuzzMachine blogger and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis:
How well did that pay wall religion work at The Daily, @rupertmurdoch?
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) December 3, 2012
NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen:
The Daily was a news app for the tablet aimed at... that's the trouble, isn't it? No one knew. qz.com/33353/news-cor… But it was worth trying.
— Jay Rosen(@jayrosen_nyu) December 3, 2012
Nilay Patel at The Verge:
I could have told you The Daily would eventually close down the day it launched. No web = dead. theverge.com/2012/12/3/3721…
— nilay patel (@reckless) December 3, 2012
Joe Brown at Gizmodo:
"Bold experiment" is a nice way of saying "bad idea" to rich people.
— joemfbrown (@joemfbrown) December 3, 2012