Some media execs skeptical of Murdoch’s iPad Daily

Venture Beat

Conde Nast Digital President Sarah Chubb said Thursday that Rupert Murdoch’s plans for the iPad Daily don’t “make any sense” in terms of the project’s likely return on its $30 million investment.

Chubb, who oversaw the relaunch of Gourmet Magazine as an iPad app, compared the Daily to that effort, which involved a much smaller budget. Chubb said that due to those lower costs, Gourmet had already covered its expenses.

Anthony Ha writes that publishers are skeptical of the Daily’s chances and quotes Chubb as saying it would have to be “one kick-ass newspaper” to be profitable.

Last month Murdoch told the Australian Financial Review that he expected there would be 30 to 40 million iPads sold next year and that everyone, including children, would eventually have one. Murdoch said the Daily needs just 800,000 subscribers at $1 per week to be a financial success.

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • Anonymous

    The bundling aspect has not been reported elsewhere that I am aware of. Do you have a source or additional details on that?


  • El NinetyNine

    I think Murdoch and Jobs will find a way to succeed with this idea, the fact that this will be bundled with each new iPad (2.0?) purchase is already starting off on the right note.

  • Anonymous

    Bill -

    I would say for me personally it depends entirely on having even one piece of content that I could not live without daily. In the paper that might be as simple as a single comic strip. What is it in the Daily (I look forward to finding out) that will be that trigger for people to sign up? The price certainly is not much of a barrier.

  • Bill Garber

    I’m totally rooting for Murdoch on this one. I think the price is right, right, right. If he can create an experience people really enjoy for 10 minutes or so each day, many will think nothing of paying 99 cents a week.

    And there is plenty of room for lots of titles at these rates.

  • Tablazines

    I posted a similar sentiment on the Guardian’s web page. As usual corporations are just throwing money around instead of really thinking things out.

    The whole promise of digital was that since there was no actual printing cost and concerns about returns that it would be cheaper to manufacture and that this cost would be passed on to the consumer.

    This hasn’t happened because these companies are intent on spending just as much money to create a digital product as they are on a paper one and the companies who create these apps are more than happy to charge an arm and a leg to produce them.

    If you’re still going to move in the digital age like an old media company.. then where’ the benefit.

    This is where I think the indie publishers will come in and wind up being the winners because we are used to doing things with less resources and A LOT less money so it won’t take 800,000 subscribing for a decent ROI.