On Tuesday, Apple announced a subscription billing platform for the App Store, overcoming perhaps the biggest hurdle for the success of iPad periodicals.
The plan lets customers purchase subscriptions to iOS-supported newspapers, magazines, music, and other content in one click. Previously, customers had to manually purchase and download issues on an individual basis.
Publishers set their own price and lengths of subscriptions. Then, customers can click on the length of their desired subscriptions and automatically receive a charge to their iTunes accounts.
"We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, in a statement.
Before The Daily appeared on the iPad last week, none of the magazines or newspapers could offer subscriptions from their own apps. Apple had a long dispute with publishers that prevented the feature to be added. On the one hand, publishers wanted to keep a direct line between themselves and their customers, to get the full amount from each subscription, and to get user details such as their gender, sex and location in many cases. Apple however wanted in-app subscriptions to go through their systems. Now, it seems Apple has decided that both should be offered. Apps will be able to offer subscriptions, but the publishers will be forced to offer those subscriptions through iTunes as well. Of course, it's likely that most users will go the iTunes route, and that has the publishers complaining. On the good side however, it means iPhone and iPad users will finally be able to get in-app subscriptions to whichever newspaper or magazine they read.
News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch unveiled his iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, today at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
"In the tablet era, there's room for a fresh and new voice," Murdoch said.
The Daily will feature nearly 100 pages of original content produced each day. Among the bells and whistles included are HD video and 360 degree photos. Readers can subscribe to the publication which will be delivered to the iPad automatically each morning and can opt to be billed each week for $0.99 or each year for $39.99. Murdoch said that comes down to $0.14 a day.
On hand were Apple's head of Internet Services, Eddie Cue; The Daily Editor Jesse Angelo; and News Corp.'s head of digital Jon Miller.
"It's the first national daily news publication built from the ground up for the iPad," Cue said.
The rumor has been going for a while now, a subscription service which would allow you to subscribe to a magazine or newspaper, and receive each issue automatically on your iPad. It's been one of the big components missing for digital papers to really take off. Right now, most known names either have you download a free app and then offer in-app purchases, like Wired, or others like The Wall Street Journal only provide limited content unless you register and subscribe to the periodical on their web site.
The Guardian is reporting that Rupert Murdoch is in talks with Apple to create the first iPad-only magazine, which would bring the first subscription service directly to the device. The new product would be called The Daily, and would be the first of its kind. It wouldn't be pulling content from a current web or paper entity; it would be something new made specifically for the device, called an iNewspaper. If this happens, it'll be interesting to see what kind of pricing structure will be set, and how much Apple will control, since this is sure to set a precedent for other publications.
We're hearing that Apple may have something to announce in regards to The Daily and iPad subscriptions on December 9, so we should know more soon.
Read More | The Guardian