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Senior Editor

Pub Talk

By James Sturdivant

About James

 

Publishers' Dojo

Linda Ruth
Barbarians at Our Gates: Cybercrime, Security, and the Media
Jul 29, 2014

Cybercrime, privacy, and security are in the forefront of our minds these days, with everyone from Google to the NSA...



B2B Beat

Andy Kowl
How to Create Online Content Readers Will Pay For
Jul 17, 2014

Pity the poor consumer publishers getting millions of website visitors each month. The flipside of those universal topics generating huge...



Media Vent

Bob Sacks
The Power of Instantaneous Feedback
Jul 16, 2014

Being a writer and a successful e-newsletter publisher has had some interesting repercussions that are completely understandable and at the...



The Digital Market

Thea Selby
Top 5 Mobile Trends for Publishers—It’s Good News, Folks
Jul 7, 2014

Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is one of my s/heroes. In this day and age of branded...



Industry Insiders

The Insiders
New York Times ‘Innovation Report’ Points Way to Digital Future
May 23, 2014

The leaked New York Times Innovation Report highlights the challenges it is facing in the digital age, but more importantly, it echoes...



Publisher's Paradox

Andrew Davis
Publisher’s Paradox: Your Newsletter Subscribers Are Being Overfed
Apr 28, 2014

Charlie Magazine, based in Charleston, South Carolina, isn't asking its readers to subscribe to everything. Instead, Charlie is inviting readers...



Profit from Publishing!

Thaddeus B. Kubis
Media Conference Exhibitors Should Go Deeper to Engage
Oct 9, 2013

It has been a few weeks since I attended (as the guest of the event organizer) the Publishing Business Conference...



Will The Daily's Demise Chill Publishers' Mobile Innovation? No Way!

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You might have heard that The Daily, News Corp's iPad-only newspaper, is shutting down as of Dec. 15. It was certainly the buzz yesterday at Manhattan's New Yorker Hotel, where publishing people gathered under art deco friezes for the Media App Summit, a one-day event produced by MediaBistro (with Publishing Executive as a media partner).

Jason Hirshhorn, CEO of the ReDEF Group and former MySpace co-president, offered an insider's view of the original motivation for The Daily within News Corp and what its closing means for the company. He believes The Daily (and MySpace) were worthwhile endeavors for the media giant, regardless of perceptions.

"You can look at MySpace and The Daily as failures by News Corp, but you could also see them as impetuses for how they modernize their company," he said, pointing out News Corp's many successes in digital distribution including the Wall Street Journal app. "They are very modern when it comes to media distribution … this came out of having the expertise of MySpace and The Daily and other businesses to educate and partner with the rest of the company."

Hirshhorn said Rupert Murdoch, whom he describes as "the most curious guy in the world," wanted to demonstrate what a tablet-based publication could look like, which is why he partnered with Apple early on to bring the The Daily to the iPad. He chalked up its failure to catch on in high numbers to its platform exclusivity. "You can't really have a huge business based off of one tablet in a nascent space," he said.

This is why News Corp's experience with The Daily should not put any publisher off the idea of pushing products to mobile. Most in the industry recognize the value of extending trusted brands across many platforms; News Corp's mistake was creating a brand exclusively for one device, then expecting people to pay for it when similar products could be accessed for free elsewhere.

The reasoning was that the company could create a digital global brand, sort of a USA Today for the planet; the reality is that the quality news and graphics to be found in The Daily were not enough to draw users and advertisers when there are so many good cross-media experiences to be had. The future of digital media is in brand extensions and HTML5-based products that flow seamlessly from Web to mobile, enabling rich media experiences without long downloads—none of which was possible for The Daily. 

News Corp can afford to take big risks and eat losses. The rest of us can learn from them, and observe what The Daily's publisher, Greg Clayman, does as he takes this experience to his new job overseeing News Corp's global digital strategy. 

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