Branson planning iPad magazine – watch out Murdoch!

25 Nov 2010

High-flying businessman Richard Branson is also planning to break into the iPad media business and next week will unveil a digital magazine tailored specifically for the tablet computer.

The news comes days after it emerged media mogul Rupert Murdoch is working on a daily newspaper with Apple.

Branson’s new magazine Project appears to be lifestyle-focused and themes will centre around entertainment, travel, business, design and international culture.

The venture is the latest in the tycoon’s Virgin portfolio that now includes space craft, trains, music, radio, digital television and a successful airline.

Branson’s new Project

Project is expected to be launched in New York next Tuesday.

It will be weeks ahead of a 9 or 13 December launch of Murdoch’s planned iPad-only newspaper The Daily, which is being built as part of a collaboration with Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The Daily will be the case study for Apple’s new recurring subscription model for media that will debut alongside iOS 4.3 at launch.

Because products like The Daily will be produced seven days a week and with each edition costing 99 cents, Apple, News Corp and many other publishers will require a system that facilitates recurring subscriptions.

In essence, Apple is building APIs to facilitate recurring subscriptions for App Store apps and its onset will involve structural changes to MobileMe, the App Store and iTunes.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years