Rupert Murdoch shutters iPad-only paper The Daily after less than two years
Agence France-Presse in London
Rupert Murdoch yesterday announced that pioneering iPad newspaper The Daily, launched as a paid subscription product for the Apple tablet, would be shut down due to a lack of readers.
The News Corp chief called The Daily - exclusively designed for touchscreen tablets - "a bold experiment," but acknowledged that it was unable to find enough subscribers to sustain it.
Some staff from the virtual newspaper would shift to another News Corp paper, New York Post.
Murdoch launched The Daily with much fanfare in February last year, describing it as a model for the news industry in the face of declining readership and a shift to online news.
The Daily was sold through Apple's App Store and iTunes and cost US$0.99 cents a week or US$39.99 a year.
Rebecca Lieb, analyst with the Altimeter Group, said the shutdown was not surprising.
"While it was highly customised for the platform, The Daily was a commodity news product," Lieb said.
"It didn't offer anything that readers could not get from any other newspaper, and it lacked a brand," she added.
The Daily was believed to have around 100,000 paying subscribers, although precise figures were not disclosed.
Launching the paper, Murdoch said it would need to recruit around 500,000 readers a week to break even.
The paper was initially designed to work on Apple's iPad tablet, and only later was it made available for some Android devices and smartphones.
Analysts said that relying on the Apple platform turned out to be a mistake.
"This was a segment of a segment of a market," said Lieb.