Josh Halliday 

The Daily launch – live coverage

Rupert Murdoch's 'iPad newspaper' is unveiled in New York – stay with the Guardian for live coverage
  
  

All eyes on the Guggenheim, where News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is about to end months of speculation and unveil The Daily, the iPad-only newspaper he hopes will revolutionise news publishing in the digital age.

The curtain will be lifted on Murdoch's brave new venture at 4pm UK time, 11am in New York. The Daily will drop into the US iPad app store at 5pm UK time, 1pm in New York. The News Corp chief, who will turn 80 in March, will be joined on stage by Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of internet services.

Stay here for live coverage.

Just under 10 minutes and counting until the grand unveiling. What does The Daily look like? "The future of journalism," according to News Corp insiders.

What do we know about The Daily so far? My colleague Jemima Kiss has the skinny:

• It will be offered at 99c for a weekly subscription or $40 for a year.

• It will be exclusive to the iPad, so no website, no partner print product and no smartphone or rival tablet version.

• Content will include original material from the 100 journalists on the Daily, but additional original material from journalists at the Atlantic, the New Yorker, AOL and, curiously, the New York Times as well as News Corp titles the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Dow Jones. News is being characterised as commuter-friendly, so short and pithy news, sport, entertainment and gossip, which immediately pitches it against a swathe of free print titles as well as current customisable tools such as Instapaper.

• Apple is expected to use the launch to announce a new system for in-app subscriptions. Proving that you have to be careful what you wish for, publishers are likely to have to relinquish 30% of their subscription revenues to Apple in the same way that app developers do. That would mean that News Corp makes just 66c per weekly subscription. Murdoch has said he anticipates it will take 800,000 readers to make the Daily viable.

Meanwhile over at the Guggenheim press event, bloggers are being seated seperately from the media, according to CNet reporter Caroline McCarthy. The future of journalism indeed.

Murdoch is on stage at the Guggenheim: "singlehandedly changed world of technology and media. Far-sighted efforts culminating in this incredible tablet. Honoured Apple has put effort into this venture.

"New times require new journalism. Challenge to take best of traditional journalism and combine with best of contemporary technology."

Murdoch: "The iPad demands that we completely reimagine our craft."

People expect tailored content, anytime, anywhere, Murdoch says. "The magic of newspapers lies in their serendipity and the deft touch of an editor – we're going to bring that magic to The Daily.

"Can, and must, make business of newsgathering viable again."

Murdoch: "In the tablet era there is room for a fresh and robust new voice."

The Daily will cost 14 cents a day, 99 cents a week.

Jon Miller, Jesse Angelo and Greg Clayman from News Corp have taken to the stage to demonstrate the first edition of The Daily.

A report from Egypt, headed "Falling Pharoah," is The Daily's first front page splash. A story "cater-made" for The Daily with compelling images and video. Demonstrating 360 degree photographs in full screen size – certainly looks impressive.

The first "all media" news product, The Daily team says. Up to 100 pages every day, "depending on the news".

Users can share articles on Twitter, Facebook – "The Daily is not an island". Will also link out to other articles on the web.

Twitter feeds from celebrities can be built directly into The Daily, citing Lily Allen.

The first two weeks of The Daily are free to subscribers, as sponsored by the telco giant Verizon and other big names.

Eddy Cue, vice president of internet services at Apple, is on stage and enjoying the iPad attention.

More than 200m news apps downloaded so far on iPad, Cue says.

Apple's Cue: "Incredible to believe something of this production value can be produced every single day". Ach, you've said it now Eddy.

Users have choice of subscription – daily, monthly or yearly ($39.99 for annual subscription).

Questions now from the audience.

Apple will "very soon" make an announcement on making The Daily subscription model widely available to other publishers, which have a "great relationship" with Apple, Cue says.

Murdoch defines success for The Daily: "When we're selling millions. Ambitions very big but ccosts are very low. If talk about success financially it's a low figure but we can be more ambitious than that."

Will cost "less than half a million dollars a week", without subscribers and advertisers, Murdoch adds.

Does The Daily compete with other newspapers or magazines? "You're competing with Angry Birds at some level. You are competing very broadly," says The Daily exec.

The Daily will have the ability to break news, bringing in Twitter feeds, tickers and publishing new pages. This is not a static product.

Ed Pilkington from the Guardian asks about political tone. "That's in the hands of the editor," interjects Murdoch.

Editorial will be patriotic but weight on issues in hands of editors.

Murdoch: "Nothing to say today" on News of the World phone hacking scandal, after brave question from steely reporter.

The Daily will be on "all major tablets" but the this year and the next year "really belong to Apple", the 79-year-old media mogul adds.

His favourite iPad apps? "I try playing some of the games but find my 7-year-old beats me all the time."

Some reaction from the web, courtesy of Jemima Kiss:

@jeffgrill Impressive launch for "The Daily" - $39.99/yr big upside against a run rate cost of $500,000 a week

@sdkstl Murdoch confirms $30M investment, already written off. Will cost less than half-mil a week to run. Inexpensive for $NWS.

@utilitymonster Doesn't look like a gamechanger to me but who isn't going to pay .99/week for that?

@DJBentley @daily is "competing with Angry Birds at some level". It's about attention spans not media threats.

@joshgreenman Apple and News Corp are odd bedfellows culturally. But both think people should pay for content and both are master promoters.

@DJBentley How will @daily's editorial line fall into line with Murdoch's? Majority of iPad users aren't Tea Party moms

Some of the content will be available on mirror HTML pages on the web – text, headlines, pictures. That will be available for free.

Who is The Daily's target audience? "Everybody," Murdoch told The Daily execs at its inception. Well, everybody with an iPad. In the US.

Murdoch: "[The Daily] Will draw a better class of advertiser and a better rate"

User subscriptions will make up larger part of The Daily revenue but will float towards a 50-50 split with advertising, they predict.

And that's it from the Guggenheim, but stay with us here for a first full review of The Daily in around 30 minutes time. It will be available to download in 10 minutes.

A short rundown of The Daily, News Corp's just-launched iPad newspaper:

• Subscription costs $0.14 a day, $0.99 cents a week or $39.99 a year

• The Daily will publish up to 100 pages a day on six areas – news, sport, gossip and celebrity, opinion, arts and life, and apps and games.

• Most of the articles can be shared online, through Twitter, Facebook and the like. And articles will link out to other sites on the web.

• The Daily's editorial board consists of:

• John Kilpatrick - Executive Creative Director
• Steve Alperin - Managing Editor
• Mike Nizza - Managing Editor, News
• Richard Johnson - LA Bureau Chief
• Sasha Frere-Jones - Editor, Arts & Life
• Chris D'Amico - Editor, Sports
• Elisabeth Eaves - Editor, Opinion
• Peter Ha - Editor, Apps, Games and Technology

"In short," Murdoch says, "we believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told and consumed in this digital age."

Reviews to follow.

More reaction from the web:

@Adampasick Dear photographers covering #TheDaily launch: Please get a shot of Rupert Murdoch in front of "Falling Pharaoh" cover for future use.

@DigitalDanHouse Rumours are that #thedaily journalists will only focus on hacking iphones

@Kained Why is #thedaily launch streaming on the site in Flash?

@darkever I wonder if #TheDaily will really provide enough of an experience to challenge simple free news.

@Chanders: Shameful. RT @ckanal: Wow. RT @brianstelter: Fox News stopped covering #Egypt to show News Corp's press conference for #TheDaily.

@Hoerr Well, that was disappointing. "Groundbreaking?" I think not. More like a mashup of already prominent user experience elements. #thedaily

@YNotWrite Mark Zuckerberg suddenly seems really charismatic and dynamic re. #thedaily launch

@ihutc I couldn't give a toss about #thedaily you right-wing profiteering pricks

The Daily's site is also now live. Plain text of shared stories – which News Corp says is "most" of its content – appears like this when shared from the iPad.

Reaction is starting to roll in. Jeff Jarvis, media commentator, questions the economics of The Daily:

"Rupert Murdoch said the Daily went through $30 million in development costs that are already written off. He said operating costs will run $500,000 a week. So in the first year, the Daily will cost roughly $55 million. That's a lot. For comparison, Portfolio went through somewhere between $40-100 million. I said we'd never see another publication launch of that scale. I was wrong. Also for comparison, News Corp's abortive aggregator, Project Alesia, went through a reported $30 million.

"Let's say that circulation covers the costs of the Daily — since getting consumer revenue is the real point of the exercise — and that advertising is profit. Note well that I have *no* reason to believe that's News Corp's strategy. It simply makes it easier to illustrate the economics and the questions I hope other reporters tackle.

"The Daily is selling for $1 a week or $40 a year.

"So how many subs would they have to sell to break even on the $500k cost? (Note that's break-even on an operating basis, not on the total investment.)

"Figure that Apple is taking something less than its normal 30% share for the privilege of having the Daily. Murdoch said that it will be ported to all major table platforms but then he said that last year, this year, and next year "belong to Apple." (I have no idea whether he means that metaphorically or contractually.)

"Figure also that there will be churn as there has been in iPad magazine sales. That means — as it always does with sub sales — that one must sell new subscriptions to replace cancellations to reach your magic number. Let's say the Daily loses–and I'm pulling this number out of a hat– 10% a month, which it needs to replace. So if you're selling 100k this month, you need to sell 110k next month to get to 200k and 120k the following month to get to 300 and so on."

See here the launch of Murdoch's new venture in pictures.

A dispatch from Allen Weiner, research vice president in media at analysts Gartner:

"The Daily is a manifestation of what can be called the Flipboard revolution. Flipboard, launched in 2010 and listed as an app of the year for iPad, offers a blend of visually striking and relevant content with a significant social overlay. The Daily's take is to take to create an alchemy that blends Flipboard's social sensibility, a tablet's inherent attributes (video, geolocation) and a helping of well crafted of news and information."

Weiner has five questions for The Daily's chiefs:

1. Via iTunes, Apple is offering daily copies and subscriptions to The Daily, but Eddie Cue offered no details on the technology behind the offering and failed to answer questions related to the current in-app versus out of app subscription controversy.
2. Those on stage were naturally evasive about what "voice" The Daily will have. The answer of "that's up to the editors" was clearly in deference to Murdoch's presence on stage.
3. Given the imminent release of tablets with advanced version of Android, how quickly will The Daily be on other devices?
4. Little was said about ad platforms, ad rates, or early advertiser beyond those up on day one (Land Rover, etc..)
5. Does the name The Daily infer that the newspaper won't be continually updated save for breaking news?

John Gruber, founder and editor of the influential technology blog Daring Fireball, says The Daily is "nothing groundbreaking, but better than most such efforts to date."

He adds: "At a dollar a week, I'm not sure how to predict The Daily's success. On the one hand, it's competing with an almost uncountable number of free websites, and large number of free apps. On the other hand, it's only a buck, and News Corp. can promote it heavily through its existing media outlets — the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the New York Post, etc."

Jason Jenkins, editor of the technology site CNET UK, comments:


"The iPad-only newspaper is a typically bold step and represents a substantial investment in staff. It will be the first time something that is made specifically for the iPad has been attempted on this scale, and we are expecting an app that relies heavily on high-quality photos and videos that the popular gadget can show off.

"No one can tell whether The Daily will be able to attract a significant enough paying audience to cover the huge costs in getting it off the ground, but it's going to be exciting to watch the story unfold."

Stop the presses, stop the live blog. We're wrapping up here for the time being but keep your eyes peeled for more reaction and reviews from the Guardian, including an in-depth video tour of The Daily by Jemima Kiss.