Rupert Murdoch delays launch of iPad-only paper, which no-one will read


Rupert Murdoch doesn't like the idea of words being read for free. That's why he likes paywalls. That's why he's binning MySpace. And so, his latest scheme to make money on, which we'll all sneer at - unless it becomes a rampant success, which we'll all then copy - is The Daily.

The Daily is going to be an iPad only release and it'll be 'coming soon' for a while yet as the launch has been put back several weeks.

It has been reported that News Corporation and Apple, the project collaborators, have cancelled a launch planned for Wednesday. Imagine that. Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs on the same stage, holding hands with each other and frothing with excitement over the prospect of a publication that can't be read by that many people. Sounds like an expensive fanzine really.

Apparently, the hold-up is down to the fact that Apple are still tweaking iTunes which will introduce a subscription service that automatically bills users on a weekly or monthly basis for the cost of receiving the download each morning.

The subscriber numbers for the papers behind paywalls have been small (boosted no doubt by hacks gleefully announcing that the paywall has mysteriously gone down, so read it for free while you can!/help bump the traffic up as there's a big board meeting tomorrow) and this new publication is the latest experiment to see if people are prepared to pay for content.

Nothing like limiting your audience to one gadget to rake in the cash, eh?


  • brian
    since the ipad magazine subscription model is declining after a moderately successful launch ( then I seriously doubt this new venture from Howling Mad Murdoch will be a rampaging success. Has anyone got the latest figures for paywall-ed The Times Online newspaper. I bet they are abysmal compared to when it was free.
  • Andy247
    The Times is currently free to all users of Three Mobile Broadband so their figures won't look as weak as they are in reality. The trial with Three only lasts until end of Feb i think so it'll fall over again at that point.
  • dacouch
    But Andy247 if the Times is free to Three users it will not have increased their readership by virtue of the Three members not being able to get a signal to read the Times
  • Codify
    Wasn't this supposed to be launched at the same time as iOS 4.2 for iPad? They missed that deadline already, now slipping again. As brian points out, the iPad magazine model was hyped at first but once the initial hysteria and novelty had worn off, few people continued their subscriptions, and numbers of paying readers are plummeting. The Times paywall site is doing appallingly badly, and now Murdoch wants to get into a dying game with the iPad magazine model. One can only hope this does as well as his brilliant $580million acquisition of MySpace, which I think still has 3 active users these days.
  • Bob
    "an iPad only release " So it'll be all style and no substance then?
  • Tim
    The only reason for iPad only is they are the only mugs who will buy a subscription. At least as long as Steve has promoted it. The only people I know who've paid for The Times paywall are iPad users who proudly like to show off the app. Yes it's a very nice looking app in that you can swipe away at columns and videos and all looks sexy. However I'm sure after a week of that they must be wondering what benefit it really is other than to show off to mates. That may be a viable business model though as that's really all the iPad is for anyway. It's the 21st century equivalent of the strategically placed coffee table magazine in your minimalist pad.

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