Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Point

from the leaves-out-interaction dept

There's been lots of talk about how News Corp. is developing an iPad-only newspaper called "The Daily," but the more I read about it, the less sense it makes. The general thinking behind it seems to come from the same reasoning which explains why so many iPad publisher apps are so bad. They're approaching it as a way to bring back the old scarcities, which are now artificial scarcities. They're looking at the platform as a savior based on what it does not allow, rather than based on what it actually enables.

Creating a platform specific publication in a day and age when platforms have less and less meaning seems like a recipe for disaster. It's based on the idea that the Murdochs want to go back to an age of control, rather than embracing the age of enablement.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    media_lush, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 9:45pm

    Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Poin

    where you drunk when you wrote this?

    I thought Techdirt was kind of respected and someone representing them puts forward this as, well, ... the word 'argument' would be a compliment really.

    Dear Senior Editor - if you get to read this the person who wrote this is destined for major FAIL down the line.... an early cull might stop an even bigger future embarrassment....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Poin

    where you drunk when you wrote this?


    No.

    I thought Techdirt was kind of respected and someone representing them puts forward this as, well, ... the word 'argument' would be a compliment really.

    What is the problem with it?

    Dear Senior Editor - if you get to read this the person who wrote this is destined for major FAIL down the line.... an early cull might stop an even bigger future embarrassment....

    I both wrote it and am the editor. I should fire myself?

    What, exactly, is wrong with the post? You are free to suggest it was not up to snuff -- perhaps not my best post -- but usually if you disagree with a post, you explain why.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    David Sanger (profile), Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 9:57pm

    Links

    Well one problem certainly is:

    no print edition + no web edition = no history + no links

    Rather than support creativity, this product makes the creative works disposable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 10:32pm

    Walled garden behind a moat

    There won't be anything linking in, and no links out. That might be OK with some older readers but it seems very sterile and inbred to me. They won't be able to claim aggregators are stealing their content, but they may miss the traffic and potential new customers that traffic would bring.

    On the positive side they have assembled some great writers and they are well funded. The Daily should be a good test of whether the paid app version of a traditional newspaper is going to work.

    Expect immitators if it works, and expect Murdock to blame Google if it fails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 10:35pm

    Re: Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Poin

    Take Heed, Troll.

    Applying 4Chan troll techniques to Mike's website will get you in trouble--

    You won't be in trouble with Mike whom usually brushes such drivel off. But, you'll be in trouble with Mike's co-worker who takes it upon himself to research troll attempts. Upon finding an unidentified troll attempt, Dennis will proceed to spin around in his chair, while making choo-choo noises, and also constantly send Mike emails until every post you make is automatically set aside for review.

    Don't let this happen to you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    satcomjoe (profile), Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Links

    ...and no verification, no accountability. really? --sounds like it's *perfect* for the owner of Faux News!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Hougledougle, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 12:36am

    Re: Re: Links

    The reason why news is now gathered from multiple locations is because we the people were never the morons that the murdochs of this world took us for. We can often smell propaganda at 50 paces, and if we're not sure we now have many way of checking the veracity of what someone might be asking us to believe. I think this news app will fail too.
    I am so oroud of our youth for their activism regarding more open and accessible forms of knowledge aquision and they are educating the older generations along the way too.
    I'm 53 and have had my mind blown away so many times in the last 5 years or so by information sources that have changed what I believed to be warranted fixed opinions I never want to go back to the old ways of staying informed.
    Take note Mr Murdoch. We just don't buy "Fair & Balanced" unless it really is!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Pete Austin, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 1:16am

    It's a reasonable bet

    Re: "Creating a platform specific publication in a day and age when platforms have less and less meaning seems like a recipe for disaster."

    News International is betting a few $10Million that you're wrong. So losing would not be a "disaster" for a company of their size. Personally I think you're probably right, but when you take the potential profits into account they are right to make this bet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Links

    The reason why news is now gathered from multiple locations is because we the people were never the morons that the murdochs of this world took us for. We can often smell propaganda at 50 paces,
    Think you might have been just a tad optimistic there - I'd say evidence suggests that "we the people" as a body will swallow whole the largest pile of horse manure available - but I heartily applaud the sentiment!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 1:56am

    Maybe Rupert doesn't know

    I don't think New Corp understands demographics or trends. All they know is that the iPad is hot and a lot of people bought them. It seems they have no idea who those users are or how they use their iPads.

    Early adopters were most likely affluent middle agers and may have actually been a target market for News Corp, but the playing field has changed since those first few months. Personally I don't know anyone who pays for news anymore. I have no idea what the solution is for the newspapers in the digital age, but I know paywalls for news are not a smart bet.

    If Rupert wants to sink $30million into this, he would be better off just giving $20million to charity (Im assuming he will actually get a return of $10 million before the whole thing dies).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 2:51am

    Re: Maybe Rupert doesn't know

    Took the words right out of my mouth. Short of the $10 million return.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 2:54am

    I wish him good luck.

    As long as he doesn't go babbling about "I need protection", "The news is mine" or something like that he can charge all he want, I'm not paying but some will.

    I trust forums more than I a trust a news outlet nowadays.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    rwahrens (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 4:31am

    less the platform specific part

    I think the problem is less the platform specific part than the idea that he's going to ask people to pay for content that can, for the most part, be obtained elsewhere for free.

    IF he's got some unique content, such as political pundits' columns, editorials, investigative feature pieces, then fine, people will probably be willing to pay.

    But not for news, which will always gravitate towards the free outlets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Links

    Possibly you are conflating Fox News and horse manure, Fox News is much worse. In addition, your categorization based upon some nebulous "evidence" is a bit lacking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Links

    All humans were built with a bullshit alarm. The problem comes around when we hear so much bullshit that the alarm becomes white noise. If you watch most TV news, prepare for a lot of white noise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Re: Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Poin

    Mike may not have been drunk, but you being a lush and all...perhaps you were?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    droslovinia (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:42am

    Why it misses the point

    I agree with your assertion that making an app specific to one platform, even one as popular as the iPad can be a recipe for disaster.

    And that's even before you get to the point that several people who have been friendly to Apple for all these years, like me, are probably going to start looking elsewhere now that they're actively complicit in helping Murdoch infest the media.

    At least whatever decent Android tablet that eventually emerges is unlikely to have a manufacturer who gets involved in producing such questionable content. People will have a choice to participate in such things, but the rest of us can know that the manufacturer of the device can have a bit of a clear conscience, having merely provided a platform and not the offending applications themselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Links

    Possibly you are conflating Fox News and horse manure,
    No, but now you come to mention it...... I don't watch it in the UK but have picked up a little when in the States and yes that could be one description.
    your categorization based upon some nebulous "evidence" is a bit lacking
    Hmm well I was being facetious, but since you ask perhaps I should have said "common observation" rather than evidence.
    What I meant was... hmm how to put it? Perhaps the words of Tommy Lee Jones come somewhere close? "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

    How many people do you imagine actually think enough about some of these issues to have an informed opinion over what is spoon fed through the media? To relate to a few issues that have been raised here for example:

    What percentage of UK/US/European populations do you imagine understand the issues behind copyright law beyond a nebulous "Well that's ok they made it they deserve to be paid" or a "Bas***ds removing our RIGHT to be given stuff!!"?
    How many people do you imagine swallowed whole the media and government frenzy around the bp oil spill without resorting to investigating facts?
    How many people would you say have any understanding of what a "cyber war" might actually entail beyond the soundbite "Our [or your depending on who is ranting this week] country is in deadly danger!"?
    How many people actually think about what security benefits additional airport screening may or may not give them?

    Note, I'm not suggesting that to be "informed" one must be on "my" side of any of those issues (and I haven't said which side that is beyond perhaps by implication), I am suggesting that most people will just not care enough about most issues to conciously dispute the general sense they get by soaking up their media of choice.

    Observation (and that fact that only a single opinion generally makes it to main stream media, which when it comes down to it follows the herd almost as much as the herd follows them) suggests to me that for any given issue, only a small percentage of people will have any kind knowledge of the detail behind it (and I include myself in this - I certainly make no claims to know everything), so by definition "the people" as a whole are uninformed on almost every subject, and I would suggest therefore more likely to simply accept the opinion of someone they are told is an "expert". Hence my comment.

    Boy that was a lot of typing to explain a 2-line facetious comment. Please don't ask again - we may be here all day!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: Walled garden behind a moat

    "Expect immitators if it works, and expect Murdock to blame Google if it fails."

    Lets say this now ... expect Murdock to blame Google, it is going to fail.

    A really huge problem for Murdoch is he isn't competing against a single local newspaper. He is competing against all the worlds newspapers, blogs, and magazines at once.

    With the trends being towards people building their own "newspapers" of what interests them, and news finding them there is no hope for this app mid to long term.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Poin

    Mike ... question(s) for you.

    - How do you get your news other than peoples submissions to techdirt?

    RSS feed?
    E-mail?
    FaceBook?

    - Break down in generalities what you read and have interest in.

    - Do you think that any other people have the exact same interests?

    - When was the last time you read a paper newspaper?

    See my comment (above flattened, below threaded)

    David

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Walled garden behind a moat

    >>Lets say this now ... expect Murdock to blame Google, it is going to fail.

    Failure is the most likely outcome, but I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt as long as none of my retirement money is invested in the project. The Daily's best hope is that it will have some unique niche that will attract customers.

    Even if The Daily is a modest success I expect Murdock to blame Google because it isn't a bigger success. Google getting blamed for something seems like the only sure outcome.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Why Murdoch's iPad-Only Newspaper Misses The Poin

    Actually do a survey of what people read and how they get their news

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Walled garden behind a moat

    "The Daily's best hope is that it will have some unique niche that will attract customers."

    The key word in that sentence is "unique". Better words are "targeted" or "niche".

    Much like music, and video, newspapers seem to be headed towards singles. "I want this one article, on this one topic that interests me". Which is why an app for a specific generic news paper is a fail mid to long term.

    I'm on a horse ... :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    hmm, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re: It's a reasonable bet

    Not really...remember ALL newspapers are massively in debt...actually in debt to several HUNDRED times their current market values.

    Pretty soon now, one of the major papers (I won't say which one for various reasons) is going to fall over hard and it's going to start a domino effect, where the banks won't fund the ongoing losses as they will realize there is no way out for the old businesses and they're just throwing good money after bad...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:39am

    The Daily would work

    if the Ipad didn't have a browser... but guess what, Rupert?! It does!
    So everyone has access to 'free as in beer' news.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This