The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s effort to recreate the newspaper for the tablet era, will call it quits later this month, a little less than two years after the News Corp. publication launched to great fanfare that ultimately never translated into readers or revenue.
“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.”
All Things D with the analysis of what went wrong with its fellow News Corp. publication:
The app was initially hampered by technical problems, but the Daily’s key issue was a conceptual one. While the app boasted lots of digital bells and whistles, in the end it was very much a general interest newspaper that seemed to be geared toward people who didn’t really like newspapers. You can’t make that work no matter what kind of platform it uses.
The digital experiment will cease standalone publication for good on Dec. 15. Its technology and some of its 120-strong editorial staff will find new homes at the New York Post, which is also owned by News Corp. Rumors that The Daily wasn’t long for this world have been floating around for months, in no small part because the publication was reportedly losing upward of $30 million a year despite charging readers about $1 a week to read the publication on their iPads.
Today’s news comes as News Corp. undergoes pretty massive organizational changes in the lead up to the media empire’s upcoming split into two separate entities, one made up of its publishing assets and the other consisting of its television and film business.
Slate’s Will Oremus has more on why the world’s first iPad-only newspaper should be its last over on the Future Tense blog.