Last month marked the 10th birthday of The New Daily.
The New Daily launched in 2013, founded by Bruce Guthrie and Garry Weaven amidst the digital transformation of Australia’s media landscape. Today, the publication serves nearly 430,000 subscribers daily and 1.35 million unique users monthly.
Mediaweek caught up with Guthrie to reflect on the last decade, and what comes next.
Take us back to the launch of The New Daily – What were your hopes for the title, and how does that compare to today?
“We very much wanted to take advantage of the digital toolbox that was at our disposal. The legacy media had a foot in both camps back in 2013 because of their print origins – they still do, really – but we weren’t constrained by that, so right from the get-go we told stories in a digital way. That helped get us early attention.
“Our initial hopes were not much more than finding an audience quickly and we did that – we had 30,000 subscribers within 24-48 hours, reacting purely to early PR and marketing. Long-term we hoped to become part of the broader media landscape, which sounds simple but is actually very tough given the entrenched competition. 10 years on I think we are a significant part of the conversation.”
Currently, the publication has 430,000 subscribers daily and 1.35-million unique users per month. How has The New Daily built that audience?
“With bloody hard work by the contracted publishers, Motion Publishing, and head of the Industry Super movement at the time, Garry Weaven. In the planning stages, we thought building an audience would be as simple as industry super funds sending The New Daily to their data base of members. But for various reasons that didn’t happen.
“So, Garry and the principals of Motion, me included, banged on doors relentlessly to get subscribers. No-one was safe from us – we pitched to unions, funds, corporate entities, you name it, trying to convince them of our worth and that giving a subscription to their members might be a good thing. Fortunately, we had a lot of success. The second strand was PR and marketing. Ironically, a lot of that was done by our competitors: every time they attacked us we got new subscribers. They’re still doing it and readers are still flocking to us. So, a special thank you to our critics.”
What have some of the highlights been for you and the team over the last 10 years?
“Our Walkley Award win for finding then-PM Scott Morrison in Hawaii in 2019 while the country burned back home was a biggie. It ended a lot of the sniping by legacy media that somehow we weren’t a legitimate journalism outfit… whatever that means these days. I actually think our credentials are stronger than a lot of other, older newsrooms that have shamelessly betrayed their founding principles. We work under a strict editorial charter that demands fair, honest and balanced reporting. It almost sounds old-fashioned these days, but our readers love it.”
The media landscape is very different now to what it was 10 years ago, how has The New Daily adapted?
“Through constant innovation. It’s our internal battle cry actually. We listen to our audience, respond accordingly and they always reward us. When we launched we did a morning email five days a week. Within six months we’d added news alerts – emails that go out whenever the news cycle demands it – and then in rapid succession came an evening edition, a Saturday edition, then Sunday, then single-subject emails on Travel, Property, Health, Work, the list goes on. Our subscribers can pick and choose what they want to get. Most recently we re-launched our website and soon we’ll re-work our EDMs. We’re certainly not resting on our laurels.”
What’s next for the publication?
“More growth, more innovation, more hard work by our terrific editorial and commercial teams. I learnt long ago that there is no finish line in daily news.”
Top Image: Bruce Guthrie