News Corp., Apple Delay ‘Daily’ Debut; Magazine Publishers Move Ahead on Digital Storefront

Launch of Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper pushed back; Next Issue Media consortium targeting summer

Some important updates in the world of tablet publishing this week.

The already-delayed launch of “The Daily,” Rupert Murdoch’s highly anticipated iPad newspaper, has been pushed back again.

According to the Peter Kafka at News Corp.-owned All Things D, “The Daily” — which had been tentatively slated to launch next week at a press event in San Francisco — is being delayed so Apple can “tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through its iTunes platform.” The unspecified delay will be "weeks, not months," ATD reports.

The ability to sell subscriptions to iPad versions of magazines through iTunes — versus the current single copy format — has been a major issue for publishers. Last month, some publishers disclosed that sales of magazine iPad issues had fallen off after a promising start. Wired, for one, said that after selling more than 100,000 copies of its first iPad issue, it averaged 31,000 digital sales between July and September, and fell to about 22,000 and 23,000 in October and November. (But according to an AdWeek report, citing an “unnamed publishing executive,” Apple and several major magazine publishers have resolved their issues and are close to announcing an agreement.)

Meanwhile, Next Issue Media — the joint venture backed by five major publishing companies, including Conde Nast and News Corp. – is moving closer to launching its own digital storefront.

The store would offer publishers a digital alternative to iTunes sell tablet versions of their titles, and would focus initially on digital titles formatted for the Android, according to Mashable.

Next Issue is eyeing a summer launch for its storefront.

[Photo illustration by TheWrap]

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