The Daily Is Dead

Dec 3 2012 @ 1:22pm

The iPad-only newspaper is folding on December 15th:

The project needed about 500,000 subscribers to break even, and did not get a chance to come close, hovering around 120,000 weekly readers last year, while opting not to say how many people were actually paying subscribers. 

Will Oremus thinks it never made any sense:

The Daily missed the whole point of digital publication, which is that you can reach a vast, worldwide audience across a wide array of platforms without having to design entirely separate products for each one. It's one thing for general-interest magazines like Slate, Salon, Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post to do away with the huge costs and constraints of a print product. Once you've done that, narrowing your focus to a single device limits your audience far more sharply than it limits your expenses.

Yglesias has a different perspective. He looks at "Marco Arment's new startup, The Magazine, which is an iOS exclusive that's simply operating on a much smaller scale with lower costs than The Daily":

From Arment's perspective, one advantage to going iOS exclusive that he alluded to in a recent podcast is that as an app maker you want to make apps that Apple wants to promote. By going exclusive, you give up some revenue opportunity, but you not only simplify your own business, you hope to attract some marketing cross-subsidy from Apple. But this is a strategy that doesn't really scale very well. The Daily was far too big and ambitious to be getting so little from exclusivity. But exclusivity itself isn't a crazy idea; it's just that you'd need to be attracting a large cross-subsidy for it to make sense.

Elsewhere, The Awl just launched a subscription-based weekly for iPad and iPhone.