Apple’s iPad has been on the street for most of this year. It keeps selling, and keeps finding new outlets. It’s a very cool device, but as I’ve pointed out a few times, the iPad is evil.
Time Magazine going “buy us in print, read us on the iPad, or go away“ was a great example of the iPad being good for Apple and bad for everybody else. The way AppleTV works is similar; if you use one you’ll get your media Apple’s way, using Apple’s partners and approved software . . . period.
Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp and long-time Internet hater, may have made his worst move yet, choosing the iPad to roll out The Daily, a new place to get your news . . . but only if you want to read it on an iPad.
If the idea was that the iPad was so good a distribution platform as to save News Corp money or allow them to deliver a product in a way that was different enough that it grew their (paid) subscriber base it might have some merit. But nobody is going to buy an iPad just for the privilege of paying News Corp for The Daily. So Murdoch’s audience is pre-limited to people who happen to own iPads.
That’s a very large and fast-growing number, so maybe the idea still has some merit. And Mr. Murdoch’s well-documented issue is that he doesn’t like giving away content, so making The Daily available only in a place where readers have to pay for it does serve a purpose. But doing a deal with Apple whereby the iPad’s maker controls your entire distribution channel and gets what I can only believe is a disproportionate share of the revenue from every “copy” of your content? Bad deal for News Corp. At least twice. I actually have more respect for Murdoch’s badly-planned price point of The Wall Street Journal on the iPad.
Business Change is difficult and painful. But when you try to make “change” about staying the same, you change nothing. And while I could give Rupert Murdoch some respect for the element of this deal that represents coopetition, nothing about The Daily on iPad suggests Murdoch’s seen the business change light yet.
You’re smarter than Rupert Murdoch, right?