News Corp. Plans National Newspaper for Tablets
News Corp. is planning a national digital newspaper designed exclusively for tablet computers and smartphones. CEO Rupert Murdoch's latest brainchild would compete with The New York Times, USA Today, and other national newspapers.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the new effort will target general readership with "short, snappy stories" that consumers can read quickly. The digital newspaper would carry the New York Post moniker under the leadership of Managing Editor Jesse Angelo. A launch date hasn't been set, but the Times predicted a year-end debut.
"We'll have young people reading newspapers," Murdoch said during the company's Aug. 4 earnings call. "It's a real game-changer in the presentation of news."
Finding News Niches
Murdoch has a reputation for changing the news game. The Fox TV network is a prime example. If the new digital national publication finds a niche like Fox did, it could also find similar success, said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
"Murdoch is going to have to pick an audience that's consistent with the device and then cater to that audience. Short, pithy news stories with a lot of entertainment and technology news could probably play very well if it was packaged properly," Enderle said. "Getting that right package, though, would probably be their biggest problem, and would be for anyone trying to do this."
As Enderle sees it, the broader the news coverage, the less likely the new publishing platform would be to succeed. He even suggested multiple targeted publications might serve the mobile-device market better than a single platform. Another alternative, he added, is a publication that alters itself to fit the specific interests of individual readers. The Internet medium allows such customization on the fly.
Who's Going to Pay?
The success of Apple's iPad has apparently gotten the 79-year-old Murdoch's attention. The New York Times has run ahead with its free iPad app, seeing more than 400,000 downloads. But the Times app is free. Murdoch is proposing to charge for his new publication.
"Thinking through the dynamic nature of the medium and the unique nature of the early adopters for it, they could probably get to something that someone might be willing to pay for. Paying for it, of course, is also going to be an issue for many," Enderle said.
Historically, subscription fees for newspapers paid for distribution. Advertising paid for news. But Murdoch appears to be throwing tradition to the wind.
"Murdoch may very well hoe the field, but it may be someone who does the advertising model better than he does that sows the corn," Enderle said. "If he tries a subscription model, this digital newspaper has a much lower probability of being successful. It still might work, but what he carves out could be taken by somebody who actually figures out how to do it for free. That's going to be his difficulty."
Posted: 2010-11-21 @ 12:51pm PT
Another initiative by news corp with The daily for exclusive iPad only digital news. will they succeed?