Saturday, January 15, 2011

Murdoch's iPad-only "The Daily" to be delayed for weeks: report

A new report from MediaMemo indicates that consumers are not going to be reading Rupert Murdoch's new iPad-only news daily, "The Daily," anytime soon. At issue is the new subscription service that Apple is building for the project.

"The Daily" is expected to cost 99 cents a week, and will include a new "push" subscription service in iOS, which will allow customers to be re-billed automatically for subscriptions. Reportedly, the problems are not with the app itself, but rather the push service.

It had been expected to launch in mid-January, with reports earlier this week indicating the date would be Jan. 19. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had been reported to be joining Murdoch onstage.

However, MediaMemo states that the event, which would have been held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, have been tabled. The delay, however, is reportedly only "for weeks, not months." A PR rep from News Corp., which also owns MediaMemo, confirmed the delay, but wouldn’t comment further.

Magazine sales on the iPad have been tepid after initial launch success. For example, Wired magazine debuted in May to sales of more than 100,000 issues in the month. But Women's Wear Daily reported that since then, Wired sales have plummeted, to 22,000 and 23,000 in October and November, respectively.

More bad news among other iPad magazines from the WWD report:
  • Vanity Fair: 8,700 for November issue, down from an average of 10,500 for the August, September and October issues.
  • Glamour: 4,301 in September, followed by a sales drop of 20 percent in October and another 20 percent in November, down to 2,775.
  • GQ: debuted in April, and sold 11,000 in November, its worst month since launch. However, this is only a slight drop from its average of 13,000 between May and October.
It will be interesting to see if a highly publicized and pushed, multimedia-rich "The Daily" can buck the trend.

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