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IPad-only newspapers spreading amid viability questions
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  • March 17, 2011
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There are mixed messages aplenty over the readership and viability of The Daily – the iPad-only app-spaper (just made that up – like it?) launched by News Corp in the US.
Yesterday on Adweek, there was a suggestion that journalists are falling over themselves to jump off The Daily‘s sinking ship. I have a contact who has worked there, and I’m trying to confirm the allegations of woeful sales and readership numbers, general panic and mayhem. I’ll report back with any findings.
Of course, it’s no surprise that the product’s publishers are talking up the number of eyeballs viewing the app. Since the free trials period was extended on The Daily, crunch time hasn’t come for the venture yet. The Telegraph is reporting that the app will start charging from next week.
Ah, a true test.
Still, the news broke today that a Western European version will be out in the next three months, which further muddies the waters. It the relatively rapid expansion due to bullish figures, or wishful thinking?
Whatever the case, Rupert Murdoch’s pockets are deep enough to cover any losses for many moons. It’s clear the company is working a long-term plan to try to change readers’ perceptions about paying for news on the web. As I’ve said before, the company has to.
(DISCLOSURE: I work for a far-flung tendril of the News Corp global empire, although I currently have nothing at all to do with The Daily or online news in general.)

What-ho! A competitor?

Yes, News Corp does not have this brave new world of news apps to itself.
According to Into Mobile a conceptually similar app has launched in Brazil this week. Brasil247 is a free app with Brazil-centric news that’s now available for download in the Apple app store.
The venture has secured $2m in funding, but seems to be e product of a small startup.
According to Into Mobile:

Interesting times. If it’s a success when it eventually ends the free trial, you can be sure the acquisition dogs will start sniffing around.

 

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