The Daily Was Just a Bad Idea

The Daily is a daily newspaper that is available only on iPads. This was, and remains, a terrible business model. Consider:

1. It is available only on iPads.
2. It is a daily newspaper.

The Daily's business model combines two limiting factors that make it worse than your average, run-of-the-mill website. Its business model purposely limits its audience—from the billions online, to the meager millions who have an iPad. (To the thousands willing to pay for The Daily.) Its newspaperesque publication schedule is a step backwards from the web's always-on schedule. The entire premise of The Daily is two huge steps backwards from currently accepted media standards. It's as if a movie studio declared that they were launching a silent film division, which would only be shown at drive-ins. Because News Corp spent so much money on The Daily, and because of its association with the hallowed iPad, a holy totem for the tech press, everyone sort of figured that, despite its obvious flaws, The Daily would somehow work out, because of... something.

Well. Nope. It was a bad idea from the start. And it probably won't be around a whole lot longer.

If you work at The Daily, now would be a good time to run. (If you haven't already, that is.) When News Corp spun off its publishing division last month, the writing was on the wall. No more big Fox News and movie studio profits to protect the money-losing publishing properties. They would have to show some success on their own. News Corp has already started shedding its weaker properties, and The Daily has reportedly been warned that its fate is now up for consideration. It loses $30 million per year. If I were a betting man, I would not bet on strong enthusiasm from executives and investors for that to turn around in the near future.

The Daily's also just not very good. Kind of like the New York Post with all the local pizzazz surgically removed. Not that that's a big factor, business-wise, but. Fewer mourners at the funeral.