Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Daily: Ambitions are big and costs are low. Has Rupert Murdoch found the Holy Grail?

It's not every day that the world sees the arrival of the saviour of journalism. Well today saw the launch of the latest piece in Rupert Murdoch's multi-media empire as The Daily hit the virtual newsstand.

Launched with a fanfare to the world's media, The Daily has been created specifically for the Apple iPad, which itself was launched with a fanfare and heralded as the salvation of journalism.

It's got to be good ... hasn't it?

Well what was displayed during the launch certainly looked good.

The Daily looks well designed, well constructed and is said to feature some fantastic content. The proof will be in the pudding.

But there was nothing from the demo that appeared to be anything that hasn't already featured on existing news websites. There was the Twitter feeds from the players of an American football team. There was sports club stats. There was reader/user-tailored content. There was lots of snazzy features, which dozens of other pre-existing sites already boast.

Nothing new.

So will The Daily work? Murdoch, who has laid his reputation as media visionary on the line (and online), has set the bar rather predictably in terms of how much money it makes. For that he is relying on the millions of iPad owners forking out for The Daily app and for the advertisers to come flooding in. Half a million at least to just cover the costs.

But the clock is ticking.

Murdoch has been given the advantage of being given a head start to build The Daily on the brand new Apple engine before anyone else, but the company's vice president of Internet Services Eddy Cue made clear during the launch that the platform will be released to other publishers.

The media mogul states with regard to The Daily: "Our ambitions are very big, but our costs are very low."

But while Mr Murdoch may have found the Holy Grail, there's a raft of crusaders just waiting to take a sip.

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