New York Times, get ready for a fight: Rupert Murdoch’s lumbering news conglomerate is crafting a newspaper designed specifically for tablet and mobile devices like the iPad. And Rupert could be prepared to throw down millions to make it work.
With the New York Times claiming 400,000 downloads of its iPad edition, it’s easy to see why Murdoch wants his News Corp to get a piece of the action. But rather than innovating on the platform with existing content, News Corp intends to deliver the kind of writing it thinks iPad users crave – that is to say, short. The Los Angeles Times says News Corp’s as-of-now-unnamed newspaper will gun for a younger, attention span-deficient readership, offering “short, snappy stories that could be digested quickly”.
The mobile paper, planned to launch on a variety of tablet devices and phones, could have considerable editorial muscle – the Los Angeles Times‘ source claimed a staff of several dozen reports and editors, which would be a true industry rarity in a period when layoffs and buyouts are commonplace.
What form the newspaper’s app will take is still up in the air, though we wonder if this could be the reason News Corp snatched up the Skiff software a few months ago. Whether a flashy platform and large budget will be a enough to draw in young readers (and advertising bucks) remains in question: “Newspaper content tends to attract – whether on print or on an iPad or however – mostly the same kind of readers,” commented a media and technology consultant. “Not necessarily younger readers.” [Los Angeles Times]