The Daily Digger

You have to admire Murdoch. He never gives up. Today he launched The Daily, the first iPad-only newspaper. Annoyingly, it’s not yet available from the UK iTunes store. But I look forward to trying it when it is.

The Guardian has a review of the first edition.

LATER: Rory Cellan-Jones was at a conference I attended today, and we nattered about it. Needless to say, he’d been able to get it on his iPad (something about a friend with a US iTunes account). His blog post about it is here.

Once you’ve managed to install what is a fairly chunky download, you find a very slick product. You arrive at a carousel, where you can swing through sections which start with news, followed rapidly by gossip, opinion, arts and life, apps and games and sports.

There is hard news – The Daily has a reporter in Cairo who has delivered the first edition’s lead story about Egypt, and there are some stunning photographs from the protests there, coupled with a pithy summary of how the country got to this state. It is though, The Daily, not the Hourly, or Minutely, so what you get is yesterday’s news – the Egypt story already looked way out of date.

But hard news is not what this paper is about, it’s more of a magazine. The overall impression is of middle-market frothy fun with plenty of multi-media twists, from the video clips that accompany movie reviews to Sudoku that allows you to compete with others online.

I had a quick look. It’s neat and clean and well-designed. But the content didn’t grab me — a bit Daily Mailish. I can see a lot of people taking the two-week free trial and then forgetting all about it.

I’ve always thought that people will pay for content — provided it’s really distinctive content. That’s why I cheerfully stump up for the New Yorker and the Economist and the London Review of Books. But it’s also why I can’t be bothered to pay for the Times. It’s not distinctive enough. I suspect the same might be true for The Daily Digger.