Last winter, saw the arrival of the first newspaper exclusively for Apple’s iPad The Daily. Like many, I was intrigued by this publication that promised original news for just $.99 per week. After a few months, however, I came to the conclusion that The Daily isn’t worth my time, even for just 14 cents per issue.
It isn’t that I dislike The Daily. In fact, the publication is better than ever thanks to a July update that made it quicker to use. In addition, the publication can never be accused of lacking content. Across seven categories, The Daily content is deep and impressive, seven days per week.
No, I stopped reading The Daily because there are better places on the iPad to find news, free or otherwise, that changes as the day moves forward.
For example, the Zite Personalized Magazine allows me to add only the news topics I’m most interested in. Then, it “learns” what I like and adjusts its content accordingly.
Now, Zite not only knows what I like in terms of news, but also what content providers I like the best.
One of my other favorites, Flipboard, continues adding new content sources. Again, in doing so, it allows me to customize the news to suit my interests.
Both these apps are free, but even if they cost $.99 per week, they would be worth it because I enjoy their flexibility.
And no, I didn’t drop The Daily because I dislike Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp.
In fact, for business news, I’m more than willing to pay $17.29 per month for full access to The Wall Street Journal app on my iPad, which is also owned by Murdoch.
The Journal provides in-depth reporting covering a range of topics (news, opinion, money & investing) that interest me. Besides, unlike The Daily, the WSJ app is updated throughout the day as necessary.
When The Daily arrived earlier this year, Murdoch believed he could produce a daily publication with original content for the iPad that people would be willing to pay for on a weekly basis.
While The Daily doesn’t announce subscription numbers, an April survey suggested it wasn’t doing too well, especially when its pay wall went up.
In my opinion, this is largely for the same reasons most are forgoing the traditional newspaper in general.
People in 2011 don’t have time to scan through uninteresting news articles only to find the one or two they are actually interested in reading. As such, readers today want a publication that is flexible enough to offer only the content that each individual user finds interesting. Plus, customers want that content to change on a constant basis and not just once per day.
If The Daily would give its readers this type of flexibility, it would probably be doing a lot better than it is right now. Unfortunately, it probably reminds many of our grandfather’s tired old newspaper; inflexible and static. And that is the problem.