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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Apple have delayed next week’s launch of The Daily, the media tycoon’s digital newspaper for the iPad, a News Corp.-owned technology blog reported Friday.
AllThingsD.com, citing sources familiar with the companies’ plans, said the delay is intended to give Apple time to tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through its iTunes online store.
According to AllThingsD, iTunes will automatically bill subscribers to The Daily on a weekly or monthly basis with a new edition showing up on their iPad every morning.
A source familiar with News Corp.’s plans claimed that The Daily, which has been the object of months of top secret development at News Corp., would be introduced at an event in San Francisco on January 19.
Murdoch, News Corp.’s chairman and chief executive, and Apple head Steve Jobs were expected to personally take part in the event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Murdoch has touted the iPad as the potential saviour of the struggling newspaper industry.
News Corp. has been tight-lipped about the project but Murdoch acknowledged its existence for the first time in an interview in November, listing it as one of the “exciting projects” his media and entertainment company was working on.
Forbes magazine has put the total staff on the project at around 150 and said News Corp. has budgeted 30 million dollars for the first year of the launch.
The Daily would bring together three of Murdoch’s passions — newspapers, the iPad and finding a way to charge readers for content online in an era of shrinking newspaper circulation and eroding print advertising revenue.
News Corp.’s The Wall Street Journal requires a subscription for full access to WSJ.com and Britain’s The Times and The Sunday Times, two other News Corp. newspapers, recently erected pay walls around their websites.
In an interview in April with The Kalb Report, Murdoch called the iPad a “glimpse of the future.”
“There’s going to be tens of millions of these things sold all over the world,” he said. “It may be the saving of newspapers because you don’t have the costs of paper, ink, printing, trucks.
“It doesn’t destroy the traditional newspaper, it just comes in a different form,” he said. – AFP