February 6, 2011

Subscription Model Immanent For iPad/iPhone

Rupert Murdock's The Daily debuted this past week. The value of an iPad-only "newspaper" that updates once per day in a world of constantly updating, free news sources is debatable. The real value for iPad users will come from the iOS underpinnings enabling a subscription-based purchase model.

Today's iOS (and Android) purchase model is a simple transaction. You pay, you get product. It works that way for applications, music, movies, books and television programs. The ability to pay once and get ongoing delivery of new versions, with no user intervention, and receive an optional automatic renewal doesn't yet exist. A promotional announcement made at The Daily's debut gives a clue as to when it will, though.

Verizon Wireless is sponsoring the first two weeks of free delivery of The Daily. After that, users must pay $.99 per week. That tells us that the subscription purchase model bits must be in place at the end of the two-week promotion. At the same time, Apple is in the late beta stages of producing iOS version 4.3. Look for that version to become available in the next week or so, and include subscription bits.

Maybe then, Wired magazine can produce an iPad version of their publication for less than quadruple the newsstand price.