Murdoch’s The Daily hits the virtual newsstands

Yesterday marked the official launch of The Daily (no relation), Rupert Murdoch’s new from-the-ground-up daily paper for the iPad.

“New times demand new journalism,” said News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. “The magic of great newspapers – and great blogs – lies in their serendipity and surprise, and the touch of a good editor. We’re going to bring that magic to The Daily – to inform people, to make them think, to help them engage in the great issues of the day.”

After a free two-week trial period, The Daily will cost $39.99 a year, or 99 cents per week – the company says it can make this profitable as it needs no printing presses or delivery trucks. It’s got its own staff, separate from News Corp’s other editorial teams, headed by editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo and publisher Greg Clayman.

It offers 100-odd pages of tabloid style content, focused on news, sports, gossip and celebrity, opinion, arts and life and apps and games, there’s also crosswords, sudoku, local weather reports and customized sports news on a user’s favorite teams.


But many have queried whether the $30 million start-up budget is really enough, and whether the title will get the huge numbers of readers it’ll need to stay profitable. After all, there have been only about 15 million iPads sold. Advertising could be key here; The Daily‘s full-page ads are completely interactive and customizable. Launch advertisers include HBO, Macy’s, Paramount, Pepsi Max, Range Rover, Verizon, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

However, says says Gartner analyst Allen Weiner, “A periodical of any sort is only as good as it is on day 100 whether it’s in print, online or on a tablet. Cool tabloid-like photos, interactive NFL linebackers and sexy video built for launch become far more challenging in the daily grind when every news day offers new challenges.”