What's Really Important About Murdoch's New iPad Newspaper

John Gruber highlights what's really important about News Corp's forthcoming daily news tablet app: recurring billing. While some magazines like Wired have had decent success selling one-off magazine issues, they've been hampered by the inability to offer subscriptions. They have to sell you issue after issue after issue. The new News Corp Daily, though, will cost you 99 cents a week, and will be billed that way, apparently.

As regards Apple's role, my understanding, based on information from sources not at Apple, is that this is not something like iBooks -- there is no central "iNews" or "Newsstand" app from Apple. Rather, it's a new subscription billing option for apps -- true recurring subscriptions -- paid through your iTunes account. News Corp's "Daily", then, would be just an app in the App Store, using subscription billing routines built-into iOS.

My understanding is that the developers at News Corp building the app already have preliminary documentation on the new subscription billing APIs from Apple. I presume this would require a new version of iOS, but perhaps the Daily will launch as soon as it can, free of charge until the billing support ships from Apple.

Read the full story at Daring Fireball.

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