Rupert Murdoch and his team at News Corp., plus third-string Apple executive Eddy Cue, just unveiled the much-hyped iPad newspaper, The Daily, in New York. It's got video, big pictures, embedded Twitter, and updates that "break in" to the app.
The newspaper, which should be in the iPad App Store presently, will cost 19 cents per day; Murdoch said he spent $13 million to get the thing going. Murdoch: "The Daily is not a legacy brand moving to the internet world... in this exciting new era we believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told and consumed."
At a live-streamed press conference in New York—a clip from which is above—The Daily's editor Jesse Angelo and publisher Greg Clayman put a heavy emphasis on interactive elements and visuals. Angelo, in fact, called the protests in Egypt "the kind of story that is cater-made for The Daily—the pictures that are coming out of there are amazing... aside from the obvious historical import." Then Apple's vice president for internet services Eddy Cue made some forgettable, stiffly-delivered comments that made everyone remember how good a public speaker Steve Jobs really is.
Other specific features of The Daily:
- 360 degree photographs you can pan and tilt
- High definition video (illustrated by a story on inmates at Angola prison making toys for children)
- Up to 100 pages of content per day
- "The Carousel," in which stories are represented by thumbnail "tiles" that are easily swiped through, read in "shuffle" mode, and summarized by audio and video anchors
- Link sharing on Twitter and Facebook. Links can be shared and read by non-subscribers for free, but non-subscribers can't see index or other navigation web pages that display the other stories
- Icons, bullet points, and timeline items that can be tapped to show additional information in small animated text bubbles
- Updates throughout the day, streaming news tickers, and updates that "can break into the app any time we want."
So basically: It's like an iPad magazine, except it comes out every day.
If that sounds boring, well, it probably should given that's how the event itself seemed. The product didn't seem bad—it looked nice enough—so much as humdrum, given the possibilities opened up by the iPad. At one point in the presentation, Angelo was even touting The Daily by pointing out that a television review contained a link to IMDB. Later, someone bragged about a direct link to the Apple Store. Woah, slow down with the innovation there, guys!
Murdoch did say the product will evolve "in the coming months and years ahead as we listen to our customers," adding, "we will work passionately to continue to develop" the product. Hopefully for Murdoch and his media conglomerate, who have bet so heavily on this thing, The Daily evolves and sells much better than any iPad glossy that has come before.