Following yesterday’s story that Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch might meet on stage to debut the world’s first iPad-only newspaper, comes a new report suggesting not only that Apple will hold that event on December 9th, but also use it as an opportunity to unveil a new subscription billing option for periodicals on the iPad.
According to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the date for the joint Apple / News Corp. announcement will be December 9th, although he’s quick to point out that the 9th is a Tuesday, which is an unusual day historically for Apple to hold a press event.
The main point of the press event is not to launch News Corp’s new iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, though. Rather, it’s to launch a new recurring subscription model for periodicals to use on the iPad. This has been an option many magazines trying to make the leap into publishing digitally have been demanding for awhile now, and according to Gruber, News Corp’s developers are the first outsiders to have access to the “preliminary documentation” on Apple’s subscription billing APIs.
Adding a subscription-billing option will only encourage more publications to release digital iPad versions of their periodicals, and potentially open the door to other sorts of subscription services as well (for example, massively multiplayer online games, or paying for your Netflix account directly through iTunes). In addition, Gruber speculates that Apple might also roll the official launch of the Mac App Store into the presentation.
If this is all true, mark your calendars: December 9th could prove to be a big day.