On Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Apple launched an iPad-exclusive digital newspaper, The Daily. With an annual budget running at $60 million The Daily files as a pricey operation.
But even selling at a breakthrough price of 99 cents a week, it will need half a million subscribers to break even and a bunch of its articles are appearing on the web free of charge.
Yesterday, a dozen stories hit the web, allowing folks to sample The Daily in their web browser. It encouraged a Los Angeles journalist and programmer Andy Baio who took it to himself to index all those stories floating around and create The Daily homepage. It's a great way to navigate web-friendly The Daily stories without having to own an iPad or purchase The Daily subscription.
Now, could it be that The Daily team has shot themselves in the foot here? The vast majority of people online simply refuse to pay for premium content. Rupert Murdoch has been toying with paid content and he's known for putting magazine and newspaper articles behind a paywall. It limits, for example, access to the online edition of the Wall Street Journal to five stories a day unless you purchase a pricey subscription.
It's a little unusual that the media magnate who is the strongest proponent of paid news on the web launched a brand new digital publication which costs half a million dollars a week to produce and requires the resources of its media empire only to lock out The Daily from the web and lock it down to just one device - the iPad.
Technically, most articles have a stripped-down variant version for the web. Some of these are published on the team's official blog as a mean of promoting the iPad publication. However, other stories are hidden from search engines and can be only viewed through the direct link created when someone shares the story with you from their iPad, using built-in social sharing capabilities features of The Daily app.
The publication's editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo explains The Daily's approach to social sharing in the below video clip from Wednesday's unveiling.