The Daily, however, was a trademark Rupert Murdoch brainstorm to create the first daily newspaper designed for a tablet and committed to making it a subscription-only app. The financial investment by News Corp. and the personal commitment by Murdoch plus the timing got it on the inside track with Steve Jobs, who made sure it had Apple’s support for the iPad. Jobs was supposed to be at the launch but was too ill; Apple’s Eddy Cue took the stage instead. The Daily stayed exclusive to the iPad for its first year, only recently adding an Android version and an iPhone app. It’s also has a Facebook app with just over 6,146 users.
Part of The Daily‘s conceit from the start has been to use its website for promotion, not as a destination, allowing stories to be shared as pdfs of the tabloid pages but not providing intact issues anywhere but the app. For some, that plan instantly spelled doom. But it made The Daily not only a truly digital-first newspaper — it was truly device-first and pushed innovation in design and photography. It also provided some major tech challenges. The Daily struggled with tech problems for months — its dense issues took too long to download and there were persistent crashes. Those glitches when the spotlight was the brightest came with a serious opportunity cost.