iPad-Exclusive Newspaper The Daily is No Longer Just For iOS Tablets

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By Kathleen De Vere

The Daily, the iPad only digital newspaper that was launched with plenty of fanfare last year by both News Corp. and Apple is no longer an iPad exclusive.

As of this month, the newspaper will now be available on certain Android devices, thanks to a partnership between the Daily and Verizon Wireless, another one of the newspaper’s original launch parters.

The news may seem somewhat left-field considering News Corp. launched the app at a high profile event last February with Rupert Murdock touting the iPad’s influence on the development of the newspaper. Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and sales Eddy Cue also made a rare appearance at the event, taking the stage to praise the app.

The Daily acted as the test case for in-app subscription services that Apple later rolled out to all developers and publishers.

Given that it was the No. 3 top grossing iPad app for 2011 according to iTunes Rewind, in-app subscriptions for media products show promise. However, the app has failed to break even since its launch. In May, Inside Mobile Apps reported that the Daily had racked up more than 800,000 downloads, but had already lost more than $10 million. At the time News Corp.’s president Chase Carey revealed the company expected to lose $30 million on the newspaper in its first year, but the move to Android may signal that News Corp. is cooling on its desire to take losses on the property. In September, Bloomberg reported that The Daily was averaging about 120,000 weekly readers, far short of the 500,000 readers that the paper reportedly needs to break even.

According to our traffic tracking service AppData, so far this year The Daily has averaged somewhere between the No. 20 and 30 spots on the iPad top grossing apps chart.

The Android version of the digital newspaper will be available as a pre-loaded application on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablets. Existing Galaxy Tab 10.1 users will be able to download the app via a software update this month. Subscription rates for the Android version of The Daily will be identical to the iPad version’s, but Android users will subscribe month-by-month for $3.99, whereas iPad users pay $0.99 per week. Both platforms charge $39.99 for a one year subscription.