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News Corp says iPad-specific publication coming soon

A News Corp. executive has confirmed that a news publication built specifically for tablets such as Apple's iPad will be coming soon, though it will initially be a U.S. product.

James Murdoch, who serves as News Corp. CEO for Europe and Asia, told journalists about the upcoming publication Wednesday at an investor conference in Spain, Reuters reports.

According to Murdoch, the new publication will be a "tablet-only product," though he declined to share exact details of the service. "You'll hear more about that soon," he said. He did, however, say that it would be largely a U.S. product.

The push for interactive news on tablet devices comes as part of a campaign to convince consumers to pay for news, rather than just reading it free on the Web, the report noted. Earlier this year, News Corp. placed its British newspapers behind "paywalls," which require users to pay for content.

Murdoch sees tablet-based journalism as the future of the industry. "The tablet in general, it lends itself to a type of journalism that is really new," Murdoch said. "These really are becoming our flagship products, even though they're very much in their infancy."

In July, rumors emerged that News Corp. was interested in starting a subscription service for tablet devices. The rumors picked up steam in late August when industry insiders suggested that a deal between News Corp. subsidiary Fox and Apple for 99-cent TV show rentals through iTunes may have been pushed through by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. Reports alleged that Murdoch Sr. approved the deal to bolster his relationship with Apple in preparation for the rumored iPad-specific news organization.

The Wall Street Journal reported in October that parent company News Corp. was shelving plans to create a digital newsstand. The media conglomerate had reportedly invested $31.5 million on the tablet-focused initiative, known as "Project Alesia."