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The Daily interest on decline, Twitter trends hint

updated 05:00 pm EDT, Wed April 6, 2011

Long-term prospects yet to be seen

News Corp.'s iPad-only news magazine The Daily is losing traction, says the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. It's currently impossible to gauge the exact performance of the publication, as neither Apple nor News Corp. have released detailed figures. Because of Twitter integration, though, it becomes possible to gauge relative activity.

App developers must register with the Twitter API, which makes it possible to record the number of public tweets generated from The Daily. Charts show that on February 3rd, the app's first full day of availability, posts peaked at 387. Within a week numbers had dropped to 209, and within two weeks they were sitting at 104. As of March 31st the quantity of daily tweets was closer to 50.

The decline is anticipated, says Nieman's Joshua Benton. "Its activity on Twitter seems to match my own perceptions of how they're doing -- an early rush of excitement; a decline as people lost interest and the app struggled with technical problems; a plateau once the tech got sorted out; and then another decline once the app started charging users," Benton writes. News Corp. finally began charging 99 cents a week for The Daily on March 21st. In theory, though, the app should be gathering more subscribers and not less, as the iPad 2 was introduced on March 11th and has been selling to people who never bought the iPad 1.

Much is riding on The Daily. The magazine is a flagship for both News Corp.'s digital efforts and Apple's in-app subscription system. News Corp. however is thought to be paying approximately $500,000 per week to run dedicated operations.

by MacNN Staff





  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Great platform crappy content

    I tried the Daily when it first launched, I didn't care for anything else except for the News section. I'm more of an NY Times reader.

  1. graxspoo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its OK

    I think they might do well if it was 100% ad supported. I don't like paying for things that also contain ads. Should be one or the other. The graphic heavy format is fun for occasional browsing but its not a good for news junkies.

  1. chas_m



    Its OK (redux)

    I echo graxspoo's comments. I gave it a fair trial while it was free (despite my loathing of Murdoch) and found it to be a worthwhile mix, too much "fluff" stuff for me and the right-leaning editorial was a turn-off, but the news coverage was better than I expected and the crossword was fun.

    For people who do enjoy it, $1 a week is EXTREMELY reasonable so I kinda hope it does at least break even on that so that other publishers will see that low-cost subscriptions can work.

    Personally I did not find quite enough content to justify supporting a Murdoch effort. Had the editorial not been so (not very) subtly right-leaning, I might have signed up for a year. A near miss IMO.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe they should

    make an Android version of The Daily?
    Boost those miserable numbers up.

    - Sent from my Android Device.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If the star publications (Baron's and Wall Street

    If the Wall Street Urinal and Barron's are any indication, the 'Daily' would be just as crappy, if not worse.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Its OK

    I think they might do well if it was 100% ad supported. I don't like paying for things that also contain ads.

    Why? People have been doing it for hundreds of years. And you probably do it every day.

    h***, if you're going to the iTMS and getting videos, your paying for ads. You're just not registering those product placements in movies as advertisements. But that's what they are.

    And what if it cost $20 a week but no ads. Would that be better for you?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    News Corp.'s iPad-only news magazine The Daily is losing traction,

    What? That is news! I never realized it had traction!

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