My 1/02/11 Missoulian column
If there’s any one industry seriously in flux now from the vast changes brought by the Internet, it’s the newspaper industry.
Just think of that word for a minute: newspapers. If you’re of that demographic that has never not known the Internet, you might wonder about the paper part. If you’re not, you probably know that many of us read news on the web – maybe even exclusively – rather than hard copy.
As a result, newspapers have been facing fleeing advertisers for paper editions and dropping profit margins for years, all the while dealing with costs associated with keeping a web presence while not usually being able to charge for it. And, we can’t forget the competition for those websites from the many other news sources, traditional and not.
How long will newspapers still be on paper? And printed in hard copy once a day? Probably quite a while, actually. I’m not predicting the death of the newspaper.
But what’s interesting is the newspaper model is modus operandi for a new Internet publishing venture by the well-known newsman Rupert Murdoch. He’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Corporation, which is the third largest media conglomerate (owning the Wall Street Journal) as well as the third largest entertainment corporation (running the Fox Network, among others).
Murdoch is taking some aspects of the traditional newspaper model into this new online news source that will be different than other players.
The newspaper is called The Daily, and The Daily is an App, meaning it runs only on the iPad. If you don’t have an iPad, you can’t subscribe to The Daily, which will be sent to your iPad each morning for 99 cents a week.
Murdoch seems to be gambling on two things: the desire for a simple news source that is published once a day in the morning and is updated less often than a news website, something like a paper newspaper.
And two, that an App for the iPad is a simple, touch and tap way to get the news as high quality print and multimedia, as simple as using Apple’s iTunes store to deliver it each morning.
But already magazines of the same ilk – subscription-based and delivered over the Internet and as Apps – have been tanking in revenues this fall. See The Great Murdoch iPad Debate | The New York Observer for an interesting debate.
Will The Daily make it in 2011?
Next week: Pundits and Naysayers on The Daily
This week in Mac Q & A: Should I Wait for a Verizon iPhone?