‘The Daily’ to Shutter on December 15

The Daily, a news publication exclusive to the iPad that was launched in February 2011 by News Corporation and Apple, will be shutting down on December 15. The closure was announced in a press release issued this morning, which also detailed several other organizational and business changes within the New York City-based media corporation.

The press release includes a quote from the Chairman and CEO of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch, on the failure of The Daily to reach a large enough audience to remain financially viable:

Mr. Murdoch said: “From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation. Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term. Therefore we will take the very best of what we have learned at The Daily and apply it to all our properties. Under the editorial leadership of Editor-in-Chief Col Allan and the business and digital leadership of Jesse, I know The New York Post will continue to grow and become stronger on the web, on mobile, and not least, the paper itself. I want to thank all of the journalists, digital and business professionals for the hard work they put into The Daily.”

The Daily made waves at launch as a news publication available only on the iPad, lacking even an internet presence as an alternate method to access its articles. The app was severely criticized for poor performance and stability, which The Daily acknowledged in a blog post shortly after launch. After several weeks of free access in celebration of its launch and to make up for the app’s instability and bugs in version 1.0, The Daily’s subscription fees kicked in, costing $.99 per month or $39.99 per year, paid via a subscriber’s iTunes account.

The Daily app has already been removed from the App Store though it still works if you’d downloaded it previously. I had subscribed to The Daily for a few months after launch out of curiosity and to show my support for a news publication that was focusing on digital delivery over dead tree versions. While I’m not at all surprised to see that it couldn’t amass the number of subscribers to stay afloat, it’s still a bit sad to see it go.