News Corporation's iPad-only newspaper the Daily, the first of its kind, lost about $10 million in its opening quarter, and over half a year later it's less than one-fourth of the way to making money. Bloomberg reports today that the iPad app averages about 120,000 weekly readers, but that figure does not differentiate those who pay and those who don't under the publication's two-week free trial. “They won’t tell us how many paying subscribers, but that’s how many uniques the Daily is getting,” said an advertising executive who works with the paper. For some perspective, Bloomberg notes, "Newspapers with circulation of about 120,000 include The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, and the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation."
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch said at launch time that the project would need 500,000 subscribers to break even, with each week of work running the company about $500,000. News Corp. chief digital officer Jon Miller said back in February that the hope was to have a "50-50" revenue split between paid readers and advertisers.
“The Daily’s proving to be a great R&D experiment but probably not a viable business,” Ken Doctor of the Newsonomics blog told Bloomberg. “It’s not breaking through the national noise.” But the paper will get louder in the next three weeks with a planned expansion beyond the iPad into the Android tablet market, in addition to offering free versions of some articles through Facebook.
News Corp.’s ‘Daily’ Trails Murdoch Reader Goal [Bloomberg]