Talking to press outside an investor conference in Spain, James Murdoch said that News Corp was working on a tablet-only publication focused mainly on the U.S. market (Reuters).
Time frame: soon.
Beyond that Mr. Murdoch wouldn’t give any other details. Think this is going to pay off for them?
Wired’s iPad edition is accounting for 39% of total sales right now and other publications, like MacLife, have come out with not just mobile editions, but tablet-focused editions. But here’s the thing that has to be asked:
How many different versions will a publisher create?
Wired is finding that putting out the iPad version is requiring 20% additional resources to make it happen (because of the additional digital content). Would News Corp just come out with a table-optimized publication maybe just focusing on using HTML5 resources or launch three tablet apps (iPad, Android, BlackBerry)?
I really doubt the later and the former as well. I think News Corp is more likely to launch an iPad app, followed by other platforms. Fan-boyism aside, the iPad is a proven, popular platform, the others…don’t have the user base yet.
I think if News Corp is betting on tablets, the tablet platform is considered a solid publishing outlet now.
It’s also worth noting that The Economist is launching an iPad/iPhone version on Friday. Tablets and publishing are becoming like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together.