News Corp’s Christmas Day Strategy: Catch iPad Gift Recipients

With News Corp.’s belief in the tablet opportunity ongoing, its UK newspapers tried snagging what it expected would be an army of new iPad owners on Christmas Day.

The Times and The Sun each said they were using iPad to break with a century-old British tradition of not publishing an edition on Christmas Day.

But, aside from containing annual news reviews and timeless Christmassy content, these “editions” were essentially promotion vehicles for for the apps themselves, carrying editorials about how great the iPad is, why paywalls are good and ads for other News International iPad apps…

They were light or, in one case, late on news – by Christmas night, The Times app was still reporting on the search for missing architect Joanna Yeates despite, as The Times website reported, a body having been found early Christmas morning.

Their editors’ excitement about breaking with tradition belies the reality that proprietors see these iPad editions as analogous to print, not to their other digital activities – despite the UK’s Christmas Day print shutdown, newspaper websites have long been published through the day on skeleton staff.

News Corp.’s (NSDQ: NWS) forthcoming iPad-only news “paper”, The Daily, of course, did not make it in time for such a holiday-time promotion.

» Our slideshows show News Corp.’s Christmas Day strategy…