Low readership numbers blamed for The Daily closure
News Corporation is shuttering its digital-only newspaper, The Daily, as part of the company’s organizational changes. The date of its last publication, December 15th, will be just two months before the second anniversary of the iPad-only publication’s creation. The primary motivation behind the closure has been revealed to be its unprofitability, caused through consistently low readership numbers.
Launched on December 9th in 2010, the iPad newspaper inaugurated in-app subscriptions in the App Store, though half a year on from launch, it had only received 120,000 weekly readers. Its reported burn-rate of $500,000 per week on dedicated operations needed more than half a million readers every week to stay afloat, which later forced News Corp to place The Daily “on watch” and to lay off a third of its staff in a cost-cutting measure. An iPhone version with a subscription of $20 per year, half that of the iPad app, was also launched but to no avail.
In a statement picked up by Deadline, News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch called The Daily “a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation.” Murdoch acknowledged the flagging readership as the app’s downfall, but says the company will take what was learned from The Daily and will apply it to other publications.
Some members of staff at The Daily will be moved to the New York Post, along with technology and other assets, though it is not clear what proportion of staff will be transferred instead of let go.