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'The Daily' to Lead the Way on iPad Magazine Subscriptions, Skip iAds

Despite the fact that the launch of News Corp.'s tablet-focused news publication has reportedly been pushed back by a few weeks from its rumored introduction next week and with the prospect of a joint Steve Jobs-Rupert Murdoch media event now apparently off the table with Jobs' medical leave of absence, The Daily is still being looked to as a model for Apple's plans with respect to recurring subscription billing for magazine and newspaper content.

The New York Times takes a look at magazine and newspaper subscriptions for the iPad, and how publishers continue to be frustrated by the lack of such options for their subscribers and Apple's insistence regarding control over subscriber information.

One publisher that seems to have been granted favored-nation status is the News Corporation, which is developing The Daily, an original iPad newspaper. The Daily will be sold through Apple as a recurring subscription, meaning subscribers will be automatically billed a small fee - expected to be about $1 a week - to receive the publication on their iPads every day. The development of the subscription software was said to be the reason The Daily's debut was pushed back.

The report notes that other publications are expected to have a similar arrangement with Apple for subscription-based billing on the iPad, but no such deals have yet been struck with Cond Nast, Hearst or Time Inc., three of the major publishers with existing presences on the App Store.

Also on the topic of The Daily, Ad Age plays to its focus on advertising in noting that the publication has lined up an impressive list of launch sponsors coming in with support at flat-fee rates rather than any flavor of impression-based pricing.

But one thing has fallen into place for The Daily: an impressive array of launch sponsors, including Macy's, Verizon Wireless, Land Rover, Pepsi Max and Virgin America, according to people close to those deals. In addition to sponsoring the project, they'll help The Daily get off the ground by offering incentives for their customers to download the app, such as frequent flyer miles from Virgin America.

But while The Daily will be iPad-exclusive at launch, the publication is expected to move to other platforms over time, and the publication is keeping a more flexible approach to advertising by eschewing Apple's iAd platform in favor of selling and serving ad content through mobile ad firm Medialets.

The close association with Apple does not mean The Daily will be taking iAds; rather, all advertising on The Daily will be sold directly and served through New York-based mobile ad company Medialets, which is providing the technology for the ads as well as the metrics back to advertisers.

Contrary to numerous previous claims of The Daily being priced at 99 cents per week, Ad Age claims that the publication will cost 99 cents per day after a two-week trial period, with fresh news content being pushed to subscribers throughout the day.