Publishers put future at fingertips with iPad papers
Business moguls such as Rupert Murdoch and Sir Richard Branson are developing newspapers and magazines that can be viewed only online on the Apple iPad. This move to entirely digital newspaper publishing could herald a global expansion of online publishing in regions such as the Middle East, which have a growing thirst for local content.
Mr Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, is reported to be planning a daily digital iNewspaper to launch on the iPad, which it is understood will be called The Daily. He is believed to have a staff of 100 in place in New York to run the newspaper. The absence of printing costs means The Daily is expected to retail at only 99 cents a week. The project follows Mr Murdoch’s move to make the digital versions of the UK’s The Times and The Sunday Times pay-only websites.
But The Daily has already attracted criticism from rivals who say that a staff of 100 is too small to produce a credible daily newspaper. However, some of Mr Murdoch’s rivals, such as Sir Richard, are trying to leapfrog News Corp by publishing offerings of their own, with Virgin expected to unveil an iPad magazine in New York this week.
Newspaper publishers are becoming convinced that iNewspapers on devices such as the iPad will gradually come to replace print. Many of the world’s leading publications are also developing versions of their publications specifically for the iPad. The Economist, for example, has an iPad application and, like other digital publishers, considers these new internet devices as ideal for winning market share in regions such as the Middle East, where print distribution can be expensive.
Sanjay Gohil, the iPad production editor at the Financial Times, says: “The iPad is a lot more nimble and quick than traditional PCs and allows you to download electronic newspapers and read them later, when you are without an internet connection.”
He says the iPad allows online newspapers to become multimedia products, offering video and audio clips in addition to print and stills photography.