Jon Miller, the chairman and chief executive of News Corp.’s digital media group, walked an amusing tightrope today at Business Insider’s Ignition conference today. When asked about News Corp.’s in-development iPad newspaper called The Daily, Miller emphasized that the company hasn’t confirmed the iPad newspaper’s existence — then he proceeded to talk about what News Corp. would be thinking if it was working on such an app.
Miller recalled first looking at the iPad about a year ago with News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal’s managing editor Robert Thomson.
“It kind of blew our minds,” Miller said, and they believed it might really be a, yes, “game changer” for the media industry.
Data about how people use their iPads suggests that optimism is justified, he said, because the iPad is “a real media consumption device.” People spend much more time playing games and consuming other media on the device than they do on a PC.
This idea of an iPad newspaper has faced plenty of skepticism since rumors of The Daily began. Critics say the content will be locked away in an app, a retro move in a time when the industry is all about sharing content across apps and adding social components. Others, like Conde Nast’s digital chief Sarah Chubb, say that News Corp is spending so much money on the project that it will be nearly impossible to make a profit. Miller hasn’t comment on the first point, but he said Murdoch isn’t “nickel and diming” the newsroom. At the same time, he said rumors that News Corp is spending $30 million on the project are too high.
As for when The Daily is coming out, Miller said if such an app exists, you should expect the launch in the first quarter of 2011.
Miller also discussed the future of News Corp-owned MySpace, as I covered in a separate post.
[photo by Owen Thomas]