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

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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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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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