On the other hand, even if News Corp can successfully bombard iPad users with marketing and seduce them into giving the app a try, and even if it can then convince them with strong enough editorial content to stick around and subscribe, The Daily’s success will still be limited by the number of people who actually own iPads or tablets.

According to The Guardian, Murdoch is looking at projections that there will be 40 million iPads in use by the end of next year:

A source said: “He envisions a world in which every family has a iPad in the home and it becomes the device from which they get their news and information. If only 5% of those 40 million subscribe to the Daily, that’s already two million customers.”

Murdoch certainly isn’t alone in his optimism about the projected explosion in tablet technology. When I interviewed the vice president of ABC News Digital in July, he gave me an emphatic “yes” when I asked him if it was naïve of people to dismiss tablet technology as hype, considering how expensive iPads are, at least at the moment. I told him that I didn’t personally know anyone who used an iPad yet. We joked about how that’s probably because I’m a journalist who hangs out with other journalists (Ha ha, very funny, we are all broke).

The thing to keep in mind about Murdoch is that, even if tablet sales are slower than he expects, he’s got the capital to keep a money-losing operation going for quite a while—as Fox News was, remember, for the first several years—while he waits for the iPad market and all his potential readers to catch up.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner