News Corp. on Wednesday unveiled The Daily, a tablet newspaper that Chairman Rupert Murdoch described as "the model" for making news gathering a viable business in the digital age.
The Daily, a general news publication designed solely for the iPad and other tablets, will cost 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year. It will feature news, opinion, sports and lifestyle content, including audio, 360-degree photos and video.
The project is being closely watched throughout a media industry that has been battered by declines in print advertising and is searching for new ways to make money delivering content on digital devices.
Some media companies view the iPad and other emerging tablet devices as critical to correcting what they view as one of their biggest mistakes: offering free access to all their material online.
"We can and we must make the business of newsgathering and editing viable again," said Mr. Murdoch at a launch event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. "We believe The Daily will be the model for how stories will be told and consumed."
The Daily will be distributed using a new billing-and-delivery system from Apple that allows customers to sign up for a subscription to a periodical and have the publication delivered to their iPad each time a new issue is published.
The system automatically charges the customer's credit card every week or year so readers don't have to pay each time they want to access a new issue, currently the norm for periodical sales in iTunes. The first two weeks will be free, courtesy of Verizon Communications.
Mr. Murdoch said the publication has cost $30 million to "get to this point" and will cost under $500,000 a week to operate.
News Corp on Tuesday unveiled its tablet-only newspaper, The Daily, a project that has been closely watched throughout a media industry battered by declines in print advertising. Jessica Vascellaro and Peter Kafka discuss the details of The Daily.
"No paper, no multi-million [dollar] presses, no trucks, we're passing along these savings to the reader," Mr. Murdoch said.
News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal, yesterday posted a sharp jump in earnings.
Mr. Murdoch, who was joined on stage by Apple Inc.'s vice president of Internet services Eddy Cue, said The Daily will eventually roll out on many different tablets but that Apple has a head start. "Last year, this year and maybe next year belong to Apple," he said.
Michael Gartenberg, an analyst a Gartner Inc., said plus points are the low price and ability to share articles through other digital services, like Facebook, Twitter and email. He said such features have been lacking in earlier iPad versions of publications.
"The whole project is extremely challenging," he said, although "it points the way to the future."
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