iPad exclusive newspaper The Daily: what's the verdict?

Is Rupert Murdoch's attempt to prove that the world is still willing to pay for journalism a hit?

News Corp's iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, launched this week with much fanfare. The digital newspaper is Rupert Murdoch's attempt to prove that the world is still willing to pay for journalism; The Daily costs US$0.99c per week or $39.99 per year.

Read our comprehensive iPad review. Also check out our guides to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Initially available only in the US App Store, The Daily has been given the once over by many leading reviewers across the United States and Europe. So, what do they think?

Jeffrey L. Wilson, PC Mag: "News Corp's daily tablet newspaper raises the bar for iPad publications with its pioneering subscription model and beautiful, interactive interface, but consumers accustomed to 'free' may have second guesses."

Ian Betteridge, Guardian UK: "At 99c a week, the Daily is going to have to sell a lot of copies if it's to turn an operating profit, let alone recoup the $30m that News Corp has spent developing it. Would I buy it? The answer is probably yes, because the price is so low that it's almost nothing. But whether the Daily is good enough to convince the hundreds of thousands of subscribers it needs to break even is another matter."

Nick Mokey, Digital Trends: "The wealth of free content on the Web will remain The Daily’s biggest barrier. It may not come in an iPad-friendly rectangle, but you’ll still know which celebrity is dating which, the top 10 ways to everything, and find all the scathing rants you want on the next crooked politician. Our advice for would-be buyers? Try it. Murdoch wisely kicked off The Daily with a two-week free trial, so you can open it up with your morning coffee every day and see whether pay walls really are the wave of the future.

James Poniewozik, Time: So far, The Daily's biggest draw may be its price point. While other iPad publications have not been able to sell discounted subscriptions through Apple's App Store, Steve Jobs and company have made an exception for The Daily; after a free two-week trial, it goes for $39.99 a year.

Shane Richmond, The Telegraph: "I’ve had a few hours with The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only newspaper. One thought strikes me above all others: if this is the best that journalism’s brightest brains can do, given a huge budget and input from Apple itself then we’re in worse trouble than I thought. The Daily represents a complete failure of imagination. It’s not a ‘native’ iPad experience at all, it’s a news magazine torn up and stuffed, page-by-page onto the iPad screen. After months of waiting to see Rupert Murdoch’s grand vision for this new medium, it turns out he wants to sell us the old vision but with a couple of videos thrown in."

Joel Mathis, Macworld: "Rupert Murdoch's new iPad newspaper closely resembles other - often unsuccessful - attempts over the last decade to "reinvent" the news. The only difference, from a user perspective, is that a few semi-new digital flourishes have been thrown into the mix... As a piece of technology, then, The Daily is promising. As a journalistic endeavour, though, it's confusing."

John Biggs, Tech Crunch: "News Corp knows how to sell news. Whether you agree with some of their channels and outlets or not, they deal out supremely popular content produced on a daily basis. While I'd say I'm worried about who they'll sell the Daily to, I believe that the subset of users who read the NY Times and other news sources in Safari on the iPad will welcome a move to a standalone app. Provided the content quality stays high and the news value is there, this could be the first iPad app to beat Angry Birds and, more important, truly bring journalism into the 21st century."

What do you think of The Daily? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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