NEW YORK: The Daily, the news title for tablets and smartphones owned by News Corp, is reducing its headcount and updating its editorial priorities, reflecting the difficulty of cracking this fledgling market.
In a statement
, The Daily confirmed it would "release" a total of 50 full-time staff, equivalent to 29% of its employees.
Additional changes being implemented as part of a broader overhaul include sourcing sports reporting from content partners like Fox Sports, and folding the dedicated "Opinion" section.
It also previously offered all material in portrait and landscape orientation, but now only the former of these formats will remain, with the exception of video.
"These moves were driven by the needs of the business. The Daily is the first of its kind, and it remains the best of its class," said Jesse Angelo, editor-in-chief of The Daily.
"We are still in the infancy of this innovative new media platform, but we have delivered excellent content, steadily increasing readership, quality reporting, and award-winning design."
Upon its launch in January 2011, The Daily's annual running costs were pegged at $30m a year. It was estimated to have lost that much money in 2011.
The publication has over 100,000 subscribers paying around 99¢ per week, with a renewal rate of 98%, it said in July.
Speaking early last year, Rupert Murdoch, News Corp's CEO, suggested The Daily - available on Apple's iPad and iPhone, as well tablets powered by Google Android - would require 500,000 subscribers to become profitable.
Among the editorial priorities for the title going forward will be original reporting, photography, video, infographics and interactive features, which have "seen the heaviest traffic" to date.
"These are important changes that will allow The Daily to be more nimble editorially and to focus on the elements that our readers have told us through their consumption that they like and want," Angelo said.
A survey of 3,000 adults by the Pew Research Center released in March found tablet ownership had reached 18%, with 56% of this audience reading news content via this route. These figures stood at 44% and 51% respectively for smartphones.
"We continue to believe in the future of tablet publications because we know the market for tablets and touchscreen devices will only expand," Greg Clayman, publisher of The Daily, said.
Data sourced from All Things D; additional content by Warc staff