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article imageOp-Ed: News Corp's much-hyped 'The Daily' brings nothing new to news

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By Michael Krebs     Feb 6, 2011 in Business
While News Corp's Rupert Murdoch appears to have become smitten with tablet applications and the news consumption platform that tablets represent, it may be beneficial for him to remember Conde Nast's 'Portfolio' disaster.
Every serious news organization - and even the not-so-serious ones - offer their content across multi-platform environments. Tablet applications among news providers - iPad being the current leader among the tablet universe - are core to any multi-platform strategy, falling squarely in the mobile delivery camp.
However, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation wants us to believe that The Daily - an iPad-only daily news application - is unique and cutting edge.
"Created every day of the year with all original content for the iPad," The Daily's promotion reveals. This claim of producing content "every day of the year" for the iPad is mirrored quite well by a host of other national well-established and award-winning news organizations - including Washington Post, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
In fact, The Daily is already being compared to Flipboard, a development that is likely not something Mr. Murdoch had anticipated - nor is it something that he is enjoying, as The Daily seeks to charge its users $40 per year and Flipboard is free.
But when considering Mr. Murdoch's considerable investment in The Daily, we may be better able to understand the hype behind what is otherwise a yawn among claims of novel content delivery. According to The Huffington Post, the initial investment in The Daily totaled $30 million.
The entire endeavor appears quite similar to the fiasco Conde Nast explored with their launch of business-to-business lifestyle morph, Portfolio. Originally billed as the next big thing in business reporting, Portfolio quickly imploded - and is now a backwater web-only placeholder within the Conde Nast publishing conglomerate.
And while Conde Nast is a privately-held entity, News Corporation is a publicly-traded company - so the results of its iPad-only experiment will be more visible for those who are interested in keeping score.
While Mr. Murdoch should be commended for his willingness to embrace new platforms, news content consumers - many of whom already have subscriptions to other sources - would be wise to scrutinize the hype around this release and others that are sure to come in the future.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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