Today marks the launch of The Daily, NewsCorp's iPad newspaper that is founder Rupert Murdoch's vision for the future of digital publishing.
Each "issue" features up to 100 "pages" of news, sports, entertainment, gossip, opinion and even an apps/games section. The layout is very reminiscent of a glossy news magazine, leaning heavily on photos and inforgraphics over straightforward text, but with a more interactive approach. There are links throughout to Web-based content and relevant Twitter feeds added to certain stories as well as plenty of streaming video and audio throughout.
What's it mean for music? So far, it's too early to tell. While some sections (like sports) and other features (like ads) are well thought out, the "Arts & Life" section is pretty thin with no real music-specific content other than a mention about Citigroup's takeover of EMI, a note about the Paper Jamz toy guitars, and an item about a $400 limited-edition print of a Robert Johnson wood carving on etsy.com.
With New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones helming The Daily's culture coverage, however, one might expect more in-depth music coverage to soon make its way into the digitized format.
But looking into the features highlighted in other sections shows the medium's true potential. There are both original and curated video content (such as movie trailers on the movie review page), interactive polls and graphs, in-app comments and localized news and information.
All information will be refreshed on a daily basis, so we'll keep an eye out for more relevant uses for the music industry. Most interestingly will be whether music streaming will be incorporated. Given the photo and video focus of the publication, I'd expect to see streaming take the form of YouTube or Vevo videos over standalone streamed audio.
The app asks for your zip code at launch, but there's not much localized content other than weather updates. However, it is likely this will lead to more relevant news items, or potentially something like reviews of artists touring in a given user's area.
The Daily feels more like a work in progress -- more potential than actual benefit for now. One of the brains behind the effort is former MTV digital exec Greg Clayman, who's more than familiar with bringing music stories to life in a digital format.
The app is free for two weeks, sponsored by Verizon, after which it will cost 99-cents a week or $40 a year.