The Daily iPad-Only Newspaper a ‘Work in Progress’ –Lost $10 Million Last Quarter

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Reports this week indicate that The Daily – the first iPad-only newspaper title – lost $10 million last quarter, and News Corp’s COO says the title is ‘a work in progress’.  News Corp have also told The Wall Street Journal that downloads of The Daily are in the neighborhood of 800,000 – not a huge number after three months in the App Store, and no numbers have been given for how many of those downloads have turned into subscriptions.

News Corp are pouring a lot of money into The Daily; it’s known that they spent some $30 million dollars just getting it to the App Store, and they have over 100 staff working on the title. I’d really like to hear how many subscribers they’ve got, and more about how long News Corp believes it will take to make it a profitable title.

As for the ‘work in progress’ label, that seems very apt. As I stressed in my review of The Daily, the title has a large number of technical flaws. What’s surprising for such a high-profile and heavily funded title is not so much that it had major flaws right out of the gate, but that most of them remain three months after it launched. Just as one quick example, the app still to this day does not remember where you leave off reading. So if you’re very much enjoying a multi-page article and switch away for a moment to check email, you’re dumped back out at the front page when you return. This is a basic, stupid execution error – and it has still not been corrected. No wonder the paper is losing money at this point.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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4 thoughts on “The Daily iPad-Only Newspaper a ‘Work in Progress’ –Lost $10 Million Last Quarter”

  1. I’ve stuck with it so far, more because I like the idea of it than the current execution. It does drive me nuts that it can’t remember where I left off. It also irritates me when I download it in the morning, but don’t read it, then go to read it in the evening and it automatically starts the download process again. I don’t dare click on anything while it’s downloading again for fear that it will crash. I’ll stick with it a little longer, but it needs to improve.

    1. The lack of remembering where you left off is by far its worst, stupidest non-feature. Incredible that’s it’s still lacking after all this time. It does definitely need to improve. I’m still on a weekly plan, sounds like your are too,

  2. Why would anyone pay for a subscription when there are so many other news and entertainment outlet (Newsday, NY Times, USA Today, Yahoo for iPad). Plus, the app was released way too soon with too many bugs.

    1. I think most or all of those titles will eventually move to subscription models in time as well. I’m not sure if the app was released too early or whether the management at The Daily just don’t understand the problems. They spent $30 million just getting this title to the App Store, they’ve got over 100 staff working on it, and they still don’t get the basics right after three months.

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