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Jobs-Murdoch’s crusade for paid digital news?

November 23, 2010
by Vinita Bhatia – NewsCollective

The past few days have been abuzz with reports of News Corp and Apple Inc., having joined forces and are all set to launch The Daily, a news publication exclusive for the iPad. Rupert Murdoch’s disdain for the online news world has been well-documented and he has always insisted that online news sites should not get their content for free and pay the newspapers their rightful due. But can his partnership with Steve Jobs – and access to millions of Apple followers – mean that journalism is headed into a new age, a digital one?

Reports say The New York Times is investing close to $30 million in The Daily iPad application and will have staff strength of 100. Murdoch has been quoted as saying The Daily is his “no. 1 most exciting project” and believes the iPad will witness massive sales growth in the near future, making The Daily one of the leading ‘newspapers’, where users will have to pay a subscription of 99 cents per week.

The Daily will have neither a print edition nor a website and the only way for users to access it is by downloading it as an iPad application. The publication is slated to be launched next year and is reported to be “a newspaper with broadsheet intelligence with a tabloid sensibility.”

But what’s intriguing is the involvement of Steve Jobs’ into this ‘exciting project’ of Murdoch’s. Apple has been graciously offering its technical know-how to News Corp in creating a flawless delivery experience for The Daily. Murdoch, a successful print and television czar has repeatedly burnt his fingers with his Web ventures with the most notable being MySpace. And now with The Daily, its seems Murdoch is not shying away from the idea of finally making the digital news media dance to his tunes, that is having readers pay for what they read.

News Corp has taken a huge gamble with the digital news revenue model and by investing $30 million and hiring 100 journalists, they appear to be in it for the long haul. There may be some news consumers who will be more than happy to subscribe to Murdoch’s model but there may always be more that are more than happy getting their news for free. Will The Daily be a revolutionary change in journalism history or will it just be another one of Murdoch’s of Web failures ? Let’s wait and see how the digital news world reacts to The Daily, its reported future.

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