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Steve Jobs, Rupert Murdoch to Launch iPad Newspaper

steve jobs and rupert murdochRumor has it that Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch are joining forces to create the world's first digital "newspaper" designed exclusively for the iPad. The new publication, titled the 'Daily,' will be officially unveiled at the end of the month before launching sometime early next year. As the Guardian explains, the publication will combine "a tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence," and will exist neither in print, nor online. Sources close to the project say that the Daily will be priced at $0.99, and, thanks to some help from Apple's engineers, will be delivered directly to subscribers' iPads or other tablets.

Murdoch apparently hopped on the tablet train after studying the results of a survey, which showed that consumers typically spend more time reading on their iPads than they do on the Internet. And, with some analysts estimating that Apple will have some 40 million iPads in circulation by the end of 2011, the News Corp chief clearly thinks his publication will find a large audience. "He envisions a world in which every family has a iPad in the home and it becomes the device from which they get their news and information," a source revealed. "If only 5-percent of those 40 million subscribe to the Daily, that's already two million customers."

Jobs, meanwhile, reportedly sees the Daily as an opportunity for Apple to work its way into the news media market. Many expected Apple to roll out a newspaper subscription plan, but the proposal has raised objections from media companies, many of which aren't ready to give Jobs the kind of price control he enjoys with the iTunes Store. "Obviously, Steve Jobs sees this as a significant revenue stream for Apple in the future," said Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Whether or not the Daily actually succeeds, however, remains to be seen. It may be delivered via 21st century mechanisms, but, at the end of the day, it's still a newspaper -- or, as the New York Times' David Carr puts it, "an ancient motif on a modern device." Sources claim that the Daily's content will be updated throughout the day, but the publication's staff of 100 journalists may have a tough time keeping up with the rest of the Web while simultaneously creating the kind of compelling, original content worthy of paywall protection. We don't doubt the sincerity of Murdoch's iPad love, nor do we second guess his claim that tablets are the future of journalism. We're just not sure that a "newspaper" format still fits into today's media calculus.

Tags: Apple, E-readers, ipad, journalism, media, NewsCorp., newspaper, PayWall, RupertMurdoch, SteveJobs, TheDaily, top