Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Rupert Murdoch’s “Daily” iPad Newspaper Set for January Launch

Want to get a gander at “the Daily,” Rupert Murdoch’s much-discussed but still sorta-secret iPad newspaper? Wait a month.

News Corp. plans to launch the publication the week of January 17, multiple sources tell me.

The caveat here is that launch plans have moved around a couple of times in the past few months; until recently, lots of folks expected to see this thing in December. But this latest date looks like a much safer bet. (News Corp. also owns this Web site.)

Given that News Corp. has hired dozens of blabby journalists for the Daily, and interviewed many more, lots of other details about the app/service have leaked out already: It will come out daily, it will sell for 99 cents a week, it will use lots of video and it will have cool multimedia bells and whistles, including some kind of 3-D effect that lots of people are very excited about. And Apple CEO Steve Jobs may or may not participate in a launch event.

Most important for other media companies: The Daily is supposed to use a new “push” subscription feature from Apple, where iTunes automatically bills customers on a weekly or monthly basis, and a new edition shows up on customers’ iPads every morning.

If we do see that on the Daily next month, expect to see several other new iPad apps using the same feature shortly afterward.

That offering won’t resolve Apple’s dispute with conventional publishers, who want to be able to control their subscriptions–or at least get access to subscriber data–for iTunes app versions of their print products. But for new, digital-only products like the Daily, that data isn’t as crucial, and the ability to set up a recurring subscription would be a big step forward.