The Daily, an iPad-exclusive digital magazine that launched February 2, has been a money-losing business for Rupert Murdoch-owned media empire so far. According to Peter Kafka of The Wall Street Journal’s MediaMemo blog who chatted with op-chief Chase Carey during an earnings call, the magazine lost ten million dollars last quarter. What’s surprising is the mention of just 800,000 downloads. Even though those downloads don’t equal paid subscriptions, it’s still a disappointing figure for such a high-profile digital publishing operation.
The Daily was the first iOS app that debuted ahead of then new iOS in-app subscription model which requires publishers to share revenue with Apple (70:30 cut) and price digital goodies the same as their physical counterparts. The Daily editorial staff counts more than a hundred employees who focus on creating original content specifically tailored to the iPad’s multimedia features. It’s been confirmed that the media conglomerate spent $30 million dollars to launch The Daily. The magazine has a weekly cost of half a million dollars. The Daily app for iPad is a free download but accessing content costs 99 cents per week in recurring payments or $39.99 per year upfront.