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I think Murdoch’s tablet newspaper will fail

Peter Kafka has the scoop over at AllThingsDigital. He’s reporting that Greg Clayman, formerly of Viacom, is going to head NewsCorp’s new tablet news unit (or whatever they end up calling it).

I’ve pretty much assumed that this would happen, and I’m pretty sure it will also fail. But I never really explained why. It comes down to competition, cost, and news coverage.

This new tablet news service (TNS) is going to have to compete with all of Newscorp’s established blogs, websites, and daily newspapers, most of which are freely available online. And a lot of them already have apps, too, which will only  make things harder for the TNS.

My guess is that the TNS will be a general news source rather than have a specialty (finance, tech, gossip, etc). Why would I pay for the TNS when I can get the same general news coverage elsewhere for free? Heck, I can even get good coverage from other parts of Newscorp for free.

Unless they’re going to lock down all of Newscorp’s blogs (including AllThingsDigital), their subscription based TNS will be competing with other divisions that are giving the content away. When you look at it that way it doesn’t make much sense, does it?

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