News Corp.’s iPad Pub “The Daily” Is the App That Changes the Media Industry

Posted by on February 10th, 2011

From today’s Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog:

Issue Date: Daily Dog – February 10, 2011

With the launch of “The Daily” on Apple’s iPad, the question needs to be asked: Is this the future of media? I would say unequivocally yes.

Digital media, blogs, Twitter and the like are fabulous. They give people unfettered access to opinions that influence markets. Twitter campaigns drive sales, have the ability to launch (and crush) brands and have an impact that goes way beyond 140 characters. Facebook, with its 500+ million users is the flavor of the month when it comes to crowd-focused marketing and information dissemination. But what has been missing are the gatekeepers — those reliable and trusted sources of news that tell us what we need to know in the world — vs. merely the funny video about the cat playing the piano that gets posted, Tweeted, Digged, etc.

Newspapers like the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal have for decades (and in some cases centuries) been the sources of the emmis, the truth of what is happening in the world. Blogs are great if you want opinion. Tech blogs in particular are a remarkable and influential barometer of that particular sector. But most people just don’t have the time to scan and sort through all the news out there.

Yes, RSS feeds are great, but collecting what is news what is important takes a level of expertise that only professional media can bring (bring on the jeers and boo’s now please). Editors, reporters and producers are trained professionals. They know how to take complex issues and boil them down into digestible bites that make for a smarter and better informed populous. I’m not talking about columnists (though I do love David Pogue’s tech columns and Paul Krugman’s economics columns) I’m talking about REPORTING…who, what, when, where, why and how.

To me, the launch of “The Daily” is great news. It’s the first true new media company that takes the sensibilities of historic media and adds the mobile flair (accessibility, timeliness, etc). I believe that companies like the NY Times and Tribune, Belo, Gannett and other major media companies (and I mean news media companies) will be watching “The Daily” closely… scrutinizing how its able to charge for content, how its able to provide that professional-gate-keeper ethos to digital news. And if they are smart, which I believe they are, how they will build a platform based on “The Daily’s” successes.

Now the whole thing bringing this together is the iPad (and tablets in general). Digital media on desktops and laptops are not the same experience as holding a magazine or newspaper in their hands. But the iPad, oh the iPad. That changes the whole digital/mobile media equation.

I’ve been reading the Wall Street Journal religiously for 15 years. Having newsprint on my hands was a sign of having done a core component of my job. But once I bought an iPad I cancelled my print subscription and bought the online WSJ. Same with the NY Times, the FT and even Newsweek. The experience of reading on the iPad is a transformational one from a reader perspective. For the publisher, wow, it’s a paradigm shift.

That brings me to “The Daily.” This is the first truly mobile/digital news organization and the future of the news media.

By Lewis Goldberg, Managing Partner, KCSA Strategic Communications