News Corp.'s The Daily is the perfect example of a great app that was doomed to failure. The Daily is a subscription-based news app that includes exclusive articles, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and the insertion of multimedia elements into the news and columns featured in the app.
All of which are winning elements except for one: subscriptions.
In an era when subscription-based news is struggling for survival, launching a subscription-based news app might be considered bucking the trend... or might simply be ignoring it. In the end, the model simply didn't work.
In a warning shot of what was to come, News Corp. laid off around one-third of the staff in July. And ultimately, it was the lack of subscriptions that doomed the publication. With so much advertiser-supported (i.e. free to the reader) content, it is a difficult proposition to ask readers to pay a subscription.
The Daily will shut down on December 15th.