November 17, 2010 / 7:42 PM / in 7 years

News Corp confirms tablet publication is close

BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - News Corp is close to revealing a news publication developed especially for tablet computers like Apple’s iPad, James Murdoch confirmed on Wednesday.

People compare the performance of Apple's iPad (L) and Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet devices at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) consumer electronics fair at "Messe Berlin" exhibition centre in Berlin in this September 2, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

“It’s a tablet-only product and it’s very exciting,” Murdoch, who heads the media group’s operations in Europe and Asia, told journalists on the sidelines of an investor conference in Spain. “You’ll hear more about that soon.”

He said it was largely a U.S. product, but declined to elaborate further.

News Corp is leading a movement by some newspaper and magazine publishers to push consumers to pay for news they have been accustomed to reading for free on the Web.

The group’s British newspaper arm has already put the Times of London, the Sunday Times and best-selling Sunday tabloid the News of the World behind so-called paywalls, and is making big bets on applications for tablets.

“The tablet in general, it lends itself to a type of journalism that is really new,” Murdoch said, highlighting the way print looks on tablets and the multi-touch screens that encourage interaction from readers.

“These really are becoming our flagship products, even though they’re very much in their infancy,” he said.

Apple has sold more than 7.5 million iPads since they became available in April. Samsung has followed with the Galaxy, and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion plans its own offering, the PlayBook, early next year.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Dave Zimmerman

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