Richard Branson Beats Rupert Murdoch To The Punch in iPad Only Media

When the iPad was first announced, it seemed like the perfect medium for consuming content that you’d normally find in a magazine or newspaper, but with richer media. The New York Times was one of the first companies to show off an iPad app on stage at the announcement to drive the point home. Since the device’s launch we’ve seen several popular magazines including Wired, Esquire and The New Yorker put out very different apps to show how the iPad can change magazines.

Branson beat Murdoch on the iPad only media draw, but will either be a viable solution to the revenue challenges print media has faced from the internet?

Along with all those magazines, there have been rumblings as of late concerning Rupert Murdoch’s latest publication, a newspaper built specifically for the iPad. The publication will be called The Daily, and will be just that, a daily newspaper for the iPad. To set it apart from other excellent papers on the iPad, The Daily will only be available on the iPad, no print or web version at all. Murdoch’s News Corp has been spending a lot of time putting the publication together, getting about 100 journalists including a few big names to work on the project. {Electronista}

Not to be outdone by Murdoch, however, Virgin CEO Richard Branson started his own publication, Project, an iPad-only magazine. Branson’s Project was just launched today with a free app with one issue that costs $2.99. While the Project magazine is iPad-only, there is a blog that is available on the web as well as through the app. The magazine even cheekily tells reader to think of the blog s a “Project Daily.” The magazine itself will be monthly as opposed to the daily issues of Murdoch’s approach. {Project}

These publications aren’t the first to come out for the iPad, and certainly won’t be the last. What makes this perceived battle between Murdoch and Branson interesting is that it will test just how viable the iPad is as a means of publication (and other tablets, as well, though the iPad is the most popular and uniform at the moment). Neither approach gives up-to-the minute content you’d expect from a blog or online news source, but the rich media lends itself well to the iPad. It could turn out that both or neither publication is successful, but that lacks the drama of the Branson vs Murdoch fight we’d love to see play out.

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