The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s brand spanking new digital publication exclusively created for the iPad, will not see light of the day next Wednesday, January 19.

Allegedly the delay has been officially confirmed to Peter Kafka of the MediaMemo blog operated by the Wall Street Journal, another property of Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp. Kafka writes that Apple is to blame for the delay:

Apple and News Corp. have made a joint decision to push back next week?s planned launch, according to sources familiar with the companies? plans. The delay is supposed to give Apple time to tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through its iTunes platform.

According to the author’s previous story, The Daily should be unveiled with great fanfare possibly involving Steve Jobs’ presentation magic. The digital newspaper is said to use in-app subscriptions, a new iOS feature designed for recurring payments. 

This will enable The Daily to automatically collect subscription fees on a weekly basis. The publication should automatically push the latest content to subscribers and it’ll be media rich, involving lots of images, audio and video material.

Promo images discovered on the project’s recently-launched  website, TheDaily.com, suggest the usual features like social sharing but also significant photo and multimedia content. Rupert Murdoch is said to be serious about the project which employs about a hundred journalists. Unlike other digital magazines and newspapers that reformat the existing print content, The Daily will feature unique stories written by professional journalists, exclusively for this digital publication.

The fact that the media mogul of Rupert Murdoch’s caliber is putting significant resources behind a download-only publication speaks volume. It’s an attempt to try to get the people used to getting their news free on the web to pay for high-quality journalism. In December, Richard Branson’s Virgin Digital Publishing released Project, a high-profile digital magazine. Faced with allegedly slow sales, the British billionaire gave away first issue in order to spur interest.

Source: The Wall Street Journal’s MediaMemo blog