Two facts. The iPad is a game changer. Rupert Murdoch likes what he is seeing with his newspaper empire and has embraced the tablet. So it's not surprise to hear that he's creating a newspaper that is dedicated to serving tablet market and hoping more users with their iPads and, soon, Windows 7 and Android tablets will embrace a new way to consume news and media.
There are questions about this new venture. Why can't News Corp just put together something from all of its properties? And what about the competition?
Murdoch is currently engage in an all out war on the news media. CNN and MSNBC on cable news and the New York Times and half a dozen other papers all around the world. So as the de facto dictator in his own empire, he gets to do whatever he wants. Murdoch wants, Murdoch gets. And who's gonna argue against the kind of success he's had?
And it might work with this new paper. First it can claim. It's geared towards a young audience with money, who happens to be very tech savy, and, oh, I already mentioned the rich part. And with so much information out there, the stories will be short and to the point. Which is not to say it's a good thing but it may be something news consumers want today.
And with the right content, ease of use, and associating with the iPad, Murdoch might be able to continue what he has done with the Wall Street Journal in drawing a willing readership to pay for it.
Impact on mobile users will not be immediately. There could be a lot of buzz when it launches (likely at the end of the year). However, short to-the-point articles? From right-leaning "Fair And Balanced"-if-we-say-it-enough-people-might-believe-it News Corp? I'm not sure it's for me. Just as if it's something from left-leaning MSNBC cable news, I'll pass on it.
Of course, we should all hold judgment until we see the final product. The WSJ was conservative to begin with and it hasn't gone more to the right. We'll see where this tablet-centric newspaper goes.
But for now, I like Murdoch's approach and energy. The New York Times recently started Press Engine to help other publications develop mobile apps. The iPad has only been on the market for four months. As a device that has already pushed against the current limitations of mobile use, I can't wait to see the kinds of apps that are developed over the next year.
Perhaps, it's NYT developing its brand of apps or News Corp's new tablet newspaper, I'm more optimistic that the tablets might actually help old meda make the move to serve a more mobile and savy society.
More at Los Angeles Times.