It’s not even a rounding error but one of the numbers Rupert Murdoch seemed to really enjoy tossing out during the News Corp earnings call: more than 64,000 active users for the Wall Street Journal iPad app after its first month. “Unlike the Kindle, we keep 100 percent of the revenue from the iPad.” That doesn’t mean each subscriber equals new dollars — or that each “active user” is a subscriber. The app itself is free. Ostensibly full access runs about $18 a month but any current WSJ subscriber with a log in can get full access for now; as is the case with WSJ.com, some content is free for registered users.
The WSJ stat provided Murdoch’s segue into a very limited mention of the long-expected News Corp (NYSE: NWS). digital media consortium: “We’re in final discussions with a number of publishers, device makers and technology companies. We will soon develop an innovative subscription model to deliver digital content to consumers wherever and whenever they want it.” Later during Q&A, Murdoch said the company is planning a press conference on the subject in three-four weeks (hmmm, an announcement at the D conference the first week in June?) and said it would include entertainment as well as news. A question about whether it would be competing with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iTunes stopped him briefly, and drew an admission that it would.