Rupert Murdoch yesterday launched the first newspaper designed exclusively for the iPad. A subscription will cost 99¢ per week, automatically billed by Apple. Users can also sign up for a year for $40.
The news operation was created from scratch and has about 100 staffers who will be producing the 100-page issue, udpating content during the day, as needed. It’s estimated it’ll cost about $500,000 a week to produce. Murdoch has already invested $30 million in the project.
It’s considered to be the most ambitious attempt by traditional media to merge the subscription-plus-advertising business model of a print publication with the multimedia and interactivity of the Web.
Issues of The Daily will be free for the next two weeks. It requires the downloading of and iPad app.
Today is the second day of the digital paper and reviews are mixed. The Head of Technology for UK’s The Telegraph wrote:
“The Daily represents a complete failure of imagination. It’s not a ‘native’ iPad experience at all, it’s a news magazine torn up and stuffed, page-by-page onto the iPad screen.”
A Mashable reviewer calls it “a second rate iPad magazine, not a newspaper.”
But some reviews, like this one from the Baltimore Sun, was kinder:
“News Corp. has built a publication that is much more attractive and innovative than the iPad versions of newspapers.” But it adds: “It’s not perfect.”
Here’s a video of how the digital paper works: