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The Daily: Innovation That Failed


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The Daily, a digital-only newspaper founded by News Corp in 2011, was an ambitious project that soon turned into a business innovation that failed.

Rupert Murdoch, the News Corp business mogul, during the launch of The Daily app, tossed around phrases like moving from print to the digital world and commitment to innovate

But he failed to recognize his product’s biggest challenges:

  • Competition with the free news.
  • App’s availability on only an expensive platform, i.e., iPad.
  • Target audience–he didn’t create segments.
  • A sound user interface.
  • Creating a niche.


Overcoming all these challenges wasn’t something undoable. But still, after enjoying the initial hype and investment, The Daily was discontinued after a year.

Let’s see why!

Why did The Daily Fail?

The lack of success or the company’s failure contributed to the factors mentioned below.

Business Model

The Daily only relied upon paid subscriptions and completely shied away from an advertising-based model. It ended up becoming difficult for them to cover expenses, and their dependence on subscriptions proved fatal.

On top of it, they established a relatively more costly structure than other digital publications.

Market Dynamics

The Daily launched in a market landscape where every news organization was moving towards digital. News was now present on social media platforms, websites, and applications, and that too free of cost.

The Daily, therefore, could not find its footing and stand out in the intense competition.

Content Structure

When a user interacted with the app and its content, there was no clear and concise content standard and style guide. As per a user remark, “The picture stuff is nice, but it seems that they’re trying to do everything!”

The app did not have a clear content architecture and strategy even though company leaders appointed news editors to create novel and exclusive news copy.

Target Audience

One of their biggest misses was not identifying a niche and generating content of all types for every single customer segment.

Some users found the application apt for the older generation enabling them to consume news electronically.

What if they had actually followed this idea through, made it their niche, and created targeted content accordingly? Would The Daily Story have been different? We’ll never know!

According to an insider, “The news was up for 24 hours and gone. There was no way for a reader to read a story from the day earlier unless you saved it. It was a huge frustration for readers as well as for those of us who were writing it when you realized no one would see it again after midnight.”

There were so many ideas floating around this new hyped innovation that entered the digital news market. However, the company failed to capture them and improve their product.

Our Key Takeaways

20% of new businesses fail within the first two years.


The Daily became one of those businesses even though it had the potential to do well. Let’s ensure that the same doesn’t happen to you.

Review before Implementation

Review every single aspect and feature of your product or service offering before implementing it into a final product, followed by a continuous improvement and development process. It takes an entire team with checks and balances to create a product worth offering.

Collaboration becomes easy with a centralized tool that enables you to identify challenges and work on them together.

Research the Market

Before you launch your product, research intensively the market segment you are entering. Examine What, Why, and How your competitors are doing. Are market dynamics favorable to you? If not, what can you do to change it to your advantage?

Ask relevant questions and find answers to them!

Choose and Create a Niche

Collect data from every source possible, including audience analysis, competitor research, market research, storyboarding, conversation mining, and whatnot! Use this data to make decisions.

It’s difficult to dominate the market with a general product that caters to all. But when you find a specialized segment after research and through your own experiences, you can create a customized product for them.

Employ an Idea Management System

The best thing about living in a digital world is the availability of automated professional tools made just for your problem statement.

You can now integrate idea management software with your existing systems and start capturing ideas from every personnel employed at your company.

Let’s say The Daily had a chance to implement a centralized idea management system. A system that could showcase and run ongoing product challenges, and capture solutions company wide collectively. Wouldn’t it have helped the team resolve problems and add on new features simultaneously?

Maybe they could have:

  • Found ways to rebuild its business model into a more flexible one by maybe increasing focus on an advertising-based approach.
  • Improved their UI to create their own brand. Their customers found that each module on their app, such as Magazine or Sports, had a resemblance to other news agencies.

The benefits of deploying a professional system meant to engage employees at all levels are uncountable.

Related Read: Business growth strategies: encouraging employee ideas to develop next-gen innovations


Identify Pitfalls

The Daily’s failure story highlights the common pitfalls and mistakes that companies encounter. You must become aware of the potential challenges and risks associated with certain strategies, decisions, and industry trends. It will enable you to make informed and data-driven decisions and avoid similar pitfalls in your own endeavors.

Encourage Innovation

Promoting intrapreneurship within your organization can do wonders for your business. It can help you improve your existing product and create new ones simultaneously. 

However, it’s not easy to capture innovation when they present themselves. You need an innovation management tool that does it for you.

They say you learn from failures. But these failures don’t necessarily have to be your own. Sometimes learning from the downfalls of other organizations can help us be prepared. We have a section dedicated to helping you learn from company failures. 

Go check it out: Lessons from Business Failures.

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