It’s been a torrid year for the Murdoch family and Rupert in particular. The media mogul was ‘humbled,’ during hacking gate, closed his only UK newspaper which actually made any money and was even accosted with a custard pie. You’d forgive him for thinking that things couldn’t get much worse, but, as they say in old blighty, ‘when it rains, it pours.’
It would seem that Murdoch’s venture into the digital world has not provided the ray of sunshine it may have been hoped to be and I’m not talking about paywalls. The tablet newspaper ‘The Daily,’ launched in February, is averaging a rather pitiful 120,000 readers a week. Bearing in mind that when the paper was launched in February it was declared that it would need an average weekly readership of 500,000 to break even, it’s safe to say that so far it has not been a success.
Why? It would appear that once again News International is falling foul of what is fast becoming a cast iron law of digital communication that, if it is on the web, then ‘Generation Won’t Pay’ wants it for free. No matter how insignificant 99 cents a week is, against a plethora of quality and more importantly free content online, we just won’t reach into our pockets.
It is hard to over-emphasise how much of a blow this is for Murdoch. The tablet was seen as a way of extracting revenue from a bust financial model, namely print media. Now it would appear that it is back to the drawing board unless of course he makes the Times / Sunday Times paywall actually work.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for any readership figures on that though!