I’m joining the chorus on why The Daily will fail

One of my favorite bloggers just got hired to write a twice weekly advice column for The Daily. While I’m happy for her success, she is the epitome of why The Daily will fail.

The blog is called CokeTalk. It’s an advice blog run anonymously by a female version of Lenny Bruce. If that’s too obscure, then picture someone who would make George Carlin sit down and take notes. She’s equal parts funny, insightful, and obscene.

She announced this past week that she had accepted a position as an advice columnist with The Daily. SHe wasn’t going to give up her blog, but she wanted us to follow her other work, too. Hiring her was a smart move, I’ll agree. But unless they get an exclusive, I don’t think it was worth the money.

If you take her work as a whole you’ll see that The Daily can only provide the smallest part, and the rest is available online for free. Why would I pay for a fraction of what I’m already getting for free?

Now expand this argument to cover news reporting. The Daily is charging for a tiny fraction of what I can get each day for free. Why would I pay for it?

Exclusivity is the key. Offer me something I can’t get elsewhere, and then it will be worth paying for.

The reason some paywalls work and others do not depends on whether a paywall protects exclusive content. The Financial Times, The Daily Variety, and other specialized publications can succeed with charging for access because they can provide content that you can’t get elsewhere. OTOH, The Daily is an ordinary newspaper, and it competes with the rest of the web.

Until and unless The Daily can cover a niche exclusively, I don’t see how it will succeed.

What do you think?

image via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane16 February, 2011

    You know I just posted yesterday about exclusivity and here you go bringing it up. Troublemaker.

  2. […] made a big deal out of how The Daily had some big names. Even I did that when I posted about how CokeTalk was hired as an advice columnist. But if they’re already losing people, what hope does they have to establish a […]


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