Twitter data suggests News Corp.’s The Daily iPad news app is losing audience

“Some of the most interesting work in the future of news is happening in these apps — for instance, in The Daily, which is trying to both create an iPad-native experience and get people to pay 99 cents a week for it,” Joshua Benton reports for The Nieman Journalism Lab. “Information about The Daily’s success (or lack thereof) has been hard to come by; external guesstimates have gotten ‘no comments,’ and the closest thing to a hard number to come out of The Daily so far is its publisher’s statement that the app has been downloaded ‘hundreds of thousands’ of times.”

“So I set out to see if there was some way to use publicly available data to try to understand at The Daily’s readership,” Benton reports. “If I can’t know how many readers it has, perhaps I could find something that at least showed the broader trend line.”

Benton reports, “That’s how, with major help from the social media firm PostRank, I came up with the chart above, which suggests — at least when viewed through the lens of Twitter sharing — The Daily is losing audience over time rather than gaining it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Daily is losing audience because it’s a pain in the ass to read. It’s always been that way and it hasn’t improved rapidly enough. We do not want to be forced to learn several new paradigms for accessing content. We just want to read/view/watch/listen to the news. You can’t find anything painlessly in The Daily, so we stopped bothering. Also from News Corp., the “less ambitious” NY Post app for iPad is far better; it’s navigable without having to screw around pinching and swiping and tapping assorted crap, much of it hidden. Launch the NY Post app and you get their version of the news; that’s all we want.

We don’t want stupid UI puzzles, we just want the effing news!

The Daily needs to remove (or hide) the bells and whistles, open on the Table of Contents (or just copy The NY Post app) and KISS. Then we might consider launching The Daily on our iPads again. Maybe.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. I enjoy The Daily, but I am getting sick and tired of having to reboot my iPad every morning to get the new issue to download. Without a reboot, I get yesterdays issue!

    1. I had the same problem. Plus it was sluggish. I decided to uninstall the app and reinstall it. Now it works flawlessly and is very responsive. Try that.

      I like the Daily. I wish it was a little simpler, more news, and comic strips (I love newspaper comic strips). But I ponied up the $40, mostly because I was going to pay .99 weekly, and then didn’t want to feel like I was going to have to decide “do I still want this?” IMO, Zing is MUCH better experience, but I like the idea of having a one-stop shopping app.

  2. I found The Daily’s content to be very boring. There was no real news on real issues that make a difference. I was hoping for at least some Fox News libertarian type content.
    Very disappointed. Waste of time trying to even look through an issue.

  3. I was going to subscribe to The Daily until the News360 App appeared. The Daily was just too clunky to navigate and use. Load times were also too slow as well for my liking. Add in no updates as the day progresses and I just didn’t feel the investment in a subscription was for me. The News360 has been a joy to use and resides as one of the main Apps in my iPad dock.

  4. There are too many problems with the Daily to make me pay for it (though I think the pricing is spot on):
    * still crashes too much and is buggy
    * way too slow to download new issues and navigation is horrible
    * lots of customization is lacking. For instance, it doesn’t support my local sports team, so as far as I’m concerned, the entire sports section can be eliminated: I don’t need it and find it offensive and annoying. So why do I have to wait while it downloads all that crap every day???
    * no back issue access, which is bizarre
    * trial period is too short as it’s based on time, not usage. My mom installed it on her new iPad but forgot to launch it and when she wanted to check it out, her trial period had expired! She never even got to try it once! (She should have at least been given access to the two weeks of back issues so she could explore the content.) She was prepared to pay a $1 but that frustrated her and so she deleted the app instead.
    * the content I saw was okay (not especially hard news, and often too shallow), but since I read zero news now, I thought it was better than nothing. My real problem is only got to read it a few times during my month trial and that wasn’t enough time for me to judge the content properly.

  5. i wanted to support The Daily since it is supposedly designed especially for use with the iPad. I subscribed.

    Now the app fails to load the current daily issue.

    The Daily is not a newspaper, IMHO. It’s more like a magazine, and it takes all day to reasonably look through it’s contents. I find in far more comfortable to glance through the Google News before becoming mired down in The Daily’ contents.

    If there’s not a quick fix for the current issue downloading bug, The Daily will be losing at least one subscriber.

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