The proliferation of e-readers and digital reading devices has permanently altered the way we access content. With so much material readily available, consumers have come to expect that much of that content will be free. Much has already been written on what that expectation has wrought and the way that ‘free content’ has upended the publishing and news industries. The newspaper industry, for example, has been particularly hard hit by the abundance of freely available content; and most consumers now expect much of their mainstream news to be free of charge. As a result, subscription sales have dropped, advertisers are no longer paying premium prices for ad space, and many century old papers have shuttered their doors.
That havoc, however, may be short-lived and may just signal an industry in flux. Publishers are looking outside the industry for ways to remain both relevant and profitable. Apple’s iPad, for example, has demonstrated that consumers are willing to pay for good content – even in digital form. As the New York Times reports, News Corp is teaming with Apple to create The Daily, an iPad-centered newspaper. The Daily will offer an app-like news atmosphere of rich media and photography built specifically around the iPad experience. News Corp. is hoping that by changing the way they deliver content, they can resurrect the idea of a profitable daily newspaper:
With The Daily, the News Corporations can enter the digital newsstand business in earnest with a new product that was never free on the Web and in a format for which payments are easily made. When I am on a Web browser and I bump into a pay-wall, I reflexively pull back unless it is in front of something I really must have. But when I’m in the App Store on an iPad, I’m already in a commercial environment: pushing the button to spend small money on something I’d like to see or play with doesn’t seem like such a sucker’s bet.
News Corp.’s newest venture blends old practices with new delivery methods. They will still employ a news team operating behind the scenes and the news will be produced in the evening, much like a standard newspaper. But the latest edition will be delivered the next morning – in a format specifically developed for the iPad – at the push of a button.
This is a promising development for the news industry. The Daily goes live January 17th.
Tags: The Daily