Peter Kafka

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Rupert Murdoch Introduces the Daily, His iPad Newspaper

It’s time, finally, for News Corp. to show off the Daily, the iPad newspaper it has been building for some six months.

This debut was supposed to happen a few weeks ago in San Francisco, with Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs sharing stage time. Instead, Murdoch will show off his new publication at the Guggenheim in New York, with Apple content boss Eddy Cue stepping in for Jobs.

We’ve got a very good idea of what to expect: A newspaper that’s both old-fashioned and cutting-edge, which will sell for 99 cents a week or $40 a year. And the best way to experience the new publication will be on an iPad, not at a museum.

Still, it will be interesting to hear News Corp. pitch this one in real time, and to see how it leverages all of its resources and a very rare Apple endorsement. (This Web site, we should note, is owned by News Corp. as well.)

10:40 am: Greetings! So excited to be in the Guggenheim that I’m starting this one a few minutes early.

10:44 am: And here’s Jon Miller, who has been shepherding this thing at News Corp. Here’s some fresh scoop! The Daily will be be live onstage for the demo, he says, but won’t appear at the app store until noon.

[Note: The Daily can be found here at the Apple App Store]

10:47 am: Miller is working the room very well; now chatting up Reuters’ Ken Li.

10:48 And Steve Rubenstein, who has been handling PR for the Daily launch. He semi-taunts me by noting that there were tasty canapés at Rupert Murdoch’s private party Tuesday night.

10:49 am: If you’d simply like to watch a livestream of the event, minus my commentary, head to thedaily.com at 11 ET.

10:50 am: That sound you hear is the rustle of departing page views.

10:51 am: Cunning of the News Corp./Rubenstein/event-planning crew to split up the press by species. Gives us something to talk about.

10:52 am: BREAKING NEWS! Jon Miller says Wi-Fi here at the Guggenheim has been working “intermittently.”

10:52 am: WAAAAAAY More interesting is that Engadget’s Joanna Stern being hassled for daring to take out a camera during a press conference. She is being moved three seats back. Where that’s OK, apparently.

10:56 am: Pre-launch music, btw: Some kinda samba thing going on. Festive and, dare I say, a smidge bit sexy. Rowr!

10:58 am: Slightly curious is that registration staff told media that they’ll have “review units” available after presser. But everyone in media has an iPad, right? It’s required, no?

Perhaps the notion is that the presser will end before noon, and the Daily won’t be available until then, so if you want to get hands-on in the meantime, that’s the way to go. Which would be smart!

On the other hand, if they’re simply handing out free “review” units to the press, well, that’s kinda smart too. Because the press likes free stuff.

11:03 am: Our crack tech guy Adam Tow tells me TheDaily.com site is now saying that the app will be available at noon ET. I can’t see that on my screen, but I’ll take his word for it.

Especially because that’s what Jon Miller said a few minutes ago.

11:05 am: Given News Corp. pub WSJ’s focus on privacy, and Apple’s, interesting to review the Daily’s:

When you use the Services, we may collect certain non-personally identifiable information about that use. For example, in order to permit your connection to the Services via the Internet, our servers receive and record information about your computer and browser, including potentially your IP address, browser type, and other software or hardware information. If you access the Services from a mobile or other device, we may also collect transactional information such as a unique device identifier assigned to that device (“UDID”), your geolocation, or other transactional information for the device in order to serve content to it. We also may use cookies and other tracking technologies (including browser cookies, pixels, beacons, and Adobe Flash technology including cookies), which are comprised of small bits of data that often include an anonymous unique identifier. Websites send this data to your browser when you first request a web page and then store the data on your computer so the web site can access information when you make subsequent requests for pages from that site. We may use these technologies to collect and store information about your use of the Services, such as pages you have visited, search queries you have run, and advertisements you have seen.

Daily Launch in NY

11:06 am: And we’re live. Here’s Rupert Murdoch, iPad in hand.

“Good morning. I’m Rupert Murdoch.”

Thanks for the “amazing Steve Jobs,” a man who has “single-handedly changed the world” of technology and media.

“Steve has been a champion of the Daily from day 1.”

“New times demand new journalism.” [hrm]

Trying to take best of traditional journalism, including “shoe-leather reporting” editing, “a skeptical eye” [hrm!] and combine them with awesome tech.

“”Simply put, the iPad demands that we completely re-imagine our craft”

Shooting for audience that is sophisticated and reads a lot, but not print.

We have that, but it’s niche. No “true news discovery.” The magic of newspapers “and great blog” lies in “serendipity.”
True!

Similarly, we must make the business of news-gathering viable again.

Goal is to be indispensable source for news and entertainment. “A robust new voice.”

Shout-outs to Jesse Angelo and Greg Clayman, who run editorial and business, respectively, for the new pub.

Daily will be 14 cents a day–99 cents a week–because no printing, delivery costs, etc.

More superlatives for the Daily, including a “sense of fun.”

Target audience is “tablet” audience–[note emphasis on tablet, not iPad].

And a shout-out to Jon Miller, too.

[Unless I misheard and it was News Corp. CTO John McKinley.]

“We believe the Daily will be the model for how stories are told and how they’re consumed.”

And another shout-out to “all our friends at Apple”

Okay. Here are Miller, Angelo, Clayman.

11:13 am: Miller starting off. Not a demo–this is live production.

Trying to figure out how to produce new news for tablet era. “We think we’ve developed that.”

Angelo shows off home screen of the Daily, with Egypt as main headline. Applause.

Have been doing live production for about six weeks.

11:14 am: They have a reporter on the ground in Cairo right now. Josh Hirsch [sp?].

Lots of big pictures, video embedded in text.

And here’s one of the 360-degree photos. Which look cool!

Can put audio behind them, etc.

HD video–here’s a clip about prisoners making toys in Angola prison. Note the bluesy background music. ’Cause it’s about a prison, duh.

11:16 am: Back to Miller. Have rethought navigation.

11:17 am: Back to Angelo, showing off swipey carousel. Sorta silly to describe this to you in a liveblog, but there’s a “play” function and a “shuffle function,” and a video anchor who will discuss the main stories of the day.

11:18 am: Back to MIller. “The Daily is not an island” can share to Facebook, Twitter, email.

11:18 am: Angelo: We can also pull HTML5 pages into device. Can also link out. [Subtext--we are TOTALLY NOT ignoring the Web, you dummies. We're not idiots.]

Bringing Twitter feeds directly into app. So you can see what Lily Allen (used to be semi-famous a couple of years ago) has to say about something.

11:19 am: Miller: We have apps and games section, with a link directly to Apple Store.

And we have an awesome sports section [sounds familiar!].

11:20 am: Angelo: Yes, check out our awesome sports section. Troy Polamalu talking about Clay Matthews’s hair.

“For sports fans, we really think this is the showstopper”–customizable sports filter by team/sport, brings in scores, tweets, etc.

11:21 am: Miller: Publishing once a day, with updates throughout the day “as the news warrants.”

Verizon sponsoring first two weeks of free subscriptions.

11:22 am: The art in this liveblog, by the way, is coming directly from livestream. Nice job, Adam Tow.

11:22 am: Here’s Eddy Cue. Never seen him before. A very, very, very big deal in media circles.

Running through iPad, iOs success. iPad customers are huge news eaters. 200 million news apps downloaded so far.

I’ve been using the Daily for the last two weeks. “It’s amazing.” Amazing that it’s done every single day. More superlatives, etc.

Basically, a repeat of what Miller et al just said.

Okay. Here are the new details on push subscriptions. First time Apple has used this tech. 99 cents a day, $40 a year. [ahem].

11:26 am: And now, oddly, press conference comes to a halt for a photo opp.

11:26 am: Waiting for them to set up chairs for Q&A.

Questions and Answers

How will back issues be handled? Where will old copies be stored?

Angelo: Best thing to do is to save articles you care about. And it will also be archived on the Web. Internal archiving not there for 1.0.

Q: When will other pubs start using subscription option?

Announcement “very soon for other news publications.”

Q: How will you measure impressions, etc. for advertising?

Miller: Will have tech built into app for that. I should have mentioned during presentation that we love advertisers.

Q: For Rupe: How will you measure success?

A: We want to sell millions. But keep costs low. We have spent $30 million so far, “all of which has been written off in figures we’ll announce today.” But overall costs $500,000 a week going forward.

Q: Another question about subscriptions.

A: A non-answer from Cue.

Q: Who/what does Daily compete with? And how will other News Corp. properties be integrated?

A: Miller: Gotta compete with everything. “you’re competing with Angry Birds at some level.” [Hey that's my line!]

Murdoch: In NY, for example, we already have multiple outlets competing with each other. This is another.

Q: What about breaking news? How will that work?

A: Angelo talking up twitter feeds, sports scores, but “we can drop in a new page if we want to, and we will.” BUT! As a conusmer, I don’t like Web sites that change constantly. It’s not a great experience. [THAT IS: This is a newspaper, not a Web site.]

Q: What’s the political tone of this thing. Centrist, right?

A: Murdoch: “The editorial position will be in the hands of the editor.” Cue Angelo, who sorta hedges. On op-ed page, “We’re patriotic.”

Q: Someone wants to know if Rupert is really into this. Also, will there be an Australian version?

Murdoch. Duh.

(An Australian version “always a possibility.”)

Q: Why do this with the Daily instead of existing brands. Also, what’s up with your phone hacking newspapers in the U.K.?

A: Murdoch: Existing tablet apps are what got me excited about launching a new one. No comment on “the other matter.”

Q: You’ll be working with other tablets besides iPad, right?

A: Murdoch. Yes. And “we’ve been quite honest with Apple about that.” We’ll defnintely be on all platforms. But Apple will be the dominant one this year, in my opinion.

[Sorry, missed a Q. Seems to be about what apps Murdoch likes.]

Q: More about the editorial voice, please.

A: Angelo: Thinking it through. We know that people spend a lot of time with these apps–35 minutes, 40 minutes. “It’s unbelievable.” So how do you create content rich enough to keep people there?

Q: What did Steve Jobs say about this in the last couple of days?

A: Murdoch: “He did call me last week” and told me app was “really terrific. He was extremely flattering.”

Q: How will people find this stuff, since it’s not on the Web?

A: Cue: We’ve downloaded 10 billion apps. People can find this stuff.

Miller: We feel really good about this. We didn’t want to make compromises.

Q: I ask about what’s available on the Web.

A: Some of it will be mirrored on the Web, when it can be done technically. [Sorry, hard to type and write.]

[Sorry, now even more confused about what's available on the Web and what isn't. Going to have to follow up with the gang later.]

[Where's Greg Clayman, by the way?]

11:47 am: Q: How do you balance a subscription model with a large audience that advertisers want?

Murdoch: “They’d pay a much lower rate per thousand if it was free. They realize it’s something that people want.” And we can tell them more about who sees it. “It’s not just scattered out there….We’ll draw a better class of advertiser, and a better rate.”

11:48 am: Q: What’s the split between ad and subscription revenue?

Miller: Subscription will be larger at start, and then eventually 50-50, “which is the magic number.”

And we’re done. Will try to follow up, may have more answers/comments here, or in a separate post. Thanks for checking in!


Here is the press release announcing the Daily:

Introducing The Daily

First National Daily News Publication Created for iPad Launches today in the Apple App Store

New York, NY, February 2, 2011 – Today Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Corporation, unveiled The Daily — the industry’s first national daily news publication created from the ground up for iPad.

“New times demand new journalism,” said Mr. Murdoch. “So we built The Daily completely from scratch — on the most innovative device to come about in my time — the iPad.”

“The magic of great newspapers — and great blogs — lies in their serendipity and surprise, and the touch of a good editor,” continued Mr. Murdoch. “We’re going to bring that magic to The Daily — to inform people, to make them think, to help themengage in the great issues of the day. And as we continue to improve and evolve, we are going to use the best in new technology to push the boundaries of reporting.”

The Daily’s unique mix of text, photography, audio, video, information graphics, touch interactivity and real-time data and social feeds provides its editors with the ability to decide not only which stories are most important — but also the best format to deliver these stories to their readers.

“News Corp. is redefining the news experience with The Daily,” says Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think it is terrific and iPad users are really going to embrace it.”

Led by Editor-in-Chief Jesse Angelo and Publisher Greg Clayman, The Daily is the first application made available on the App Store as a subscription — which will be billed directly to an iTunes account. And because this paperless paper requires no multi-million dollar presses or delivery trucks, it will be priced at just 99 cents a week (or $39.99 for an annual subscription).

“The Daily launches at a moment when advances in technology are changing the job of the modern editor,” says Mr. Angelo. “These advances are giving us new ways to tell stories. We intend to take advantage of all of them, and make The Daily the new voice for a new era.”

Each day The Daily will publish up to 100 pages focused on six key areas: news, sports, gossip and celebrity, opinion, arts and life, and apps and games. It will offer views from across the political spectrum. They will come from across cultures and generations, across America and the world.

The Daily will feature Sudoku and crossword puzzles, localized weather reports, and a customizablesports package that captures news on the user’s favorite teams. Subscribers will also be able to leave comments on Daily stories in either written or audio form — as well as bookmark them in-app to read later.

As readers move through The Daily’s content, they will be helped by several highly intuitive navigation tools. And while The Daily lives on the iPad, most of its articles can be easily shared via Facebook, Twitter and email. The Daily will link out to the web, as well as bring the web into the app.

“In short, says Mr. Murdoch, “we believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told and consumed in this digital age.”

The Daily has bureaus in New York and Los Angeles, as well as stringers across the country. Full companybios are available at TheDaily.com/about. Executive staff includes:

John Kilpatrick – Executive Creative Director
Steve Alperin – Managing Editor
Mike Nizza – Managing Editor, News
Richard Johnson – LA Bureau Chief
Sasha Frere-Jones – Editor, Arts & Life
Chris D’Amico – Editor, Sports
Elisabeth Eaves – Editor, Opinion
Peter Ha – Editor, Apps, Games and Technology

The Daily is also changing the way advertising is offered and consumed within a news publication. Full-page ad units are completely interactive, customizable, and offer a rich mix of branding and direct response opportunities. Launch advertisers include HBO,Macy’s, Paramount, Pepsi Max, Range Rover, Verizon, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

“With The Daily, Rupert Murdoch has given us the chance to rethink the entire experience of news delivery and consumption,” said Mr. Clayman. “The ability to actively listen to and engage with our audience means we can continually provide an experiencethat consumers value in this fast-evolving tablet space. Together with our customers, our advertising partners, and the team at The Daily, we are excited to create a new form of media.”

About The Daily
The Daily is a first-of-its-kind daily national news publication built exclusively as an application for tablet computing. It provides readers the engaging experience of a magazine combined with the immediacy of the web and the need-to-know content of a newspaper, all while elevating user experience beyond the printed word. The Daily is a subscription-based news product, published 365 days a year, at the cost of $0.99 cents a week or $39.99 a year. For more information on The Daily go to: www.thedaily.com.

Finally, here are screenshots from The Daily’s listing in the App Store:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald