Will Murdoch's digital paper make a pioneering profit?

In his latest attempt to make digital news content pay, Rupert Murdoch is launching a new digital paper in the US, geared specifically to younger readers and available on outlets like the iPad and mobile phones.

While making any kind of national newspaper in the States pay has always been notoriously difficult, this looks a better opportunity for Murdoch than his paywall strategy for the Times and Sunday Times over here in the UK.

The digital paper’s content will be customised to a younger audience with shorter, snappier stories, and will no doubt major on celebrity, sports and entertainment, the main drivers of gaining audience in the digital age.

Contrast that with Times Newspapers which for all its virtues, produces resolutely middle-class, middlebrow and, dare one say it, middle-aged content that will not cut it with the multi-focused, roving attention span of the younger generation.

One day no doubt, all newspaper publishers will be able to make a living from subscription-based digital newspapers with some ad revenue providing a tasty little bonus, but that day is a long way ahead.

So is Murdoch bravely pioneering a transitional stage between print and digital or is he caught in a vast no-man’s land of diminishing ad revenue and customers expecting anything digital to be free?

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About David O'Reilly

David is a former deputy editor of Campaign and writer for a number of leading titles including Management Today and the Sunday Times. He is a partner in The Editorial Partnership.