Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Daily: The Future of Media or Just Repackaged Old Media?

Two weeks ago Rupert Murdoch's News Corp released what they hailed as the future of news in the digital era with the release of its iPad exclusive news application, The Daily. The newspaper/magazine hybrid represents an attempt to bridge the gap between old and new media by offering a modern looking news platform combined with affordable prices. In an age of aggregators and free online content companies are looking for a way to make money from people who are used to get getting everything for free. The Daily currently offers a two week free trial and is then 99 cents a month or 40 dollars for a full year.

I waited a little bit for the reviews to come in before posting and so far they've been mixed. Wired - which has a pretty comprehensive review here - breaks The Daily down this way:

WIRED: This a serious effort to figure out how to create a for-profit news experience on an very new medium from a publisher with deep pockets who sees magazines as the future of newspapers. Who can argue with that?
TIRED: Long download, lots of crashes, somewhat clunky animation. Articles tend to the short side — neither brief, nor long form. Shades of USA Today?
The Huffington Post - which some may argue may not be a reliable source for evaluating a Murdoch product but I felt was balanced in their reporting - notes in an article that... "looking at The Daily in a browser — here's an article — the organizational or navigational structure one finds on other news sites is here absent. The Daily is not only unwilling to compromise, it's also simply unavailable online.
That might have been sufficient in the days of the newsmagazine, when value was created and retained between the covers. But on the social web, the currency of a successful site is the portability of its content. The Daily's is just the opposite, moored to a single and static platform, with only the smallest concession to social sharing."

Slate had a pretty good breakdown of The Daily's strengths and weaknesses in an article by Jack Shafer and as a segment in their Culture Gabfest podcast. The overarching critique, coming from a news organization that was itself largely experimental when it first came out, is that the current iteration of the magazine is still a prototype and its ultimately too early to tell. 

Finally for those really interested Salon has already compiled a fairly comprehensive list of reactions from various news organizations here.  

My thoughts:
I downloaded The Daily and read through it for a few days. Although some people haven't fallen in love with the display, I thought it worked with the iPad. Overall all though, there was nothing about it that was so wonderful that I felt obliged to add it to the various apps I read regularly. While 99 cents a week is a totally fair price,  with Pulse, Flipboard, and the news organization specific apps I currently read there just wasn't much of an incentive. What are 
your thoughts?  

No comments:

Post a Comment