Rupert Murdoch is finally launching The Daily today, but there’s already been plenty of talk about the long-rumored iPad newspaper. One of the big topics of speculation has been the amount of money Murdoch is pouring into this effort.
Now News Corp has confirmed that it has already spent $30 million on The Daily and that it will cost about $500,000 a week to keep it going. Back when the $30 million number was reported last fall, other publishers were scratching their heads — Sarah Chubb, president of Conde Nast Digital, said it “doesn’t make any sense.” (News Corp’s digital media chairman and CEO Jon Miller said in December that the $30 million estimate was too high, but, uh, I guess he didn’t get the memo?)
That means The Daily is going to have to be a huge hit. At 99 cents a week (split with Apple), it will need hundreds of thousands of subscribers to break even on subscription revenue alone. (Murdoch said he eventually hopes to make half the revenue from advertising.) In comparison, Conde Nast’s Wired iPad app averaged 31,000 in monthly sales between July and September.