According to an article by Women's Wear Daily, rumors are circulating that News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch is teaming up with Apple CEO Steve Jobs to launch a new digital-only newspaper. Dubbed, "The Daily," an iPad project will allegedly stream right into a user's iPad seven days a week for the fairly low price of $0.99 per week, or about $4.25 monthly.
Sources say Murdoch is said to have gotten the idea for the project from a survey that suggested that readers spent more time on their iPads than on the internet. According to Women's Wear Daily's John Koblin, Steve Jobs and Murdoch have been in conversations about the project for a while.
Apple's role in this interesting enterprise seems to rest in offering engineering expertise but one has to question: 1) how much of Apple's engineering will show in an iPad only e-newspaper and should any newspaper create a product for viewing on just one product? What about other tablets or e-readers?
After watching the latest installment of Harry Potter this weekend, I am reminded that a moving picture in a newspaper was a far fetched idea when the Harry Potter series began but today is not. Today it’s possible to have some form of video on a tablet or e-reader, although for an iPad it would most likely not be Flash driven.
Around 100 staffers will contribute to the paper's digital pages out of News Corp's New York City headquarters. Expect to see a beta version of "The Daily" launched sometime around late December—perhaps even on a rumored standalone newsstand application that Apple's alleged to be working on. The full version of "The Daily" will hit the iPad in early 2011.
The move comes in the wake of rumors that Apple will be selling newspaper subscriptions like they sell programs through the App Store. In return for a portion of the subscription price and advertising revenues, newspapers and magazines will be permitted to offer subscriptions through the App Store itself.
As an early adopter of electronic newspapers, I am not sure I would switch to a newspaper just because it was designed specifically for a tablet or e-reader. I think most early adopters would agree that the purchase of a subscription was based on “voice” of the publication, not the design. I sit next to many other early adopters on airplanes who read the Wall Street Journal, USA Today or the New York times.
What do you think? How compelling is it to read a newspaper that is designed from scratch for a tablet or e-reader as opposed to a newspaper that was transformed from a paper version to an electronic version.